This Ctip2 gene is a great breakthrough for the future. We do need a lot more research, however. For example, when a tooth comes in someone's mouth through the gum line the enamel is already on there. It protects the tooth from bacteria in the oral cavity. If we can isolate the tooth in the mouth from the bacteria while the enamel grows that would be great. When I place a filling in someone's mouth with enamel like materials I shape the tooth immediately and seal it so that bacteria is not getting in there causing another cavity or more of a cavity. Now will that gene take the cavity out as well or just grow new enamel. We are not sure yet. Hopefully it will not touch or remove natural enamel. We have a water laser right now that removes minimal structure in the cavity. If the CTip2 gene can do that as well without touching natural enamel, it will probably be a great thing. The possibilities are there.
If a child loses a tooth through an accident, falling down or being hit by a baseball, that tooth can be placed back in the mouth – there is bio-acceptance. I have actually done this for kids. But when someone like an adult is missing a tooth, we can currently replace that tooth with a titanium implant in an about an hour and then put porcelain teeth over the implant. If perhaps we can extend this idea with CTip2 gene therapy through future research. Can you imagine using stem cells to grow a patients tooth in a Petri dish and then putting back in the mouth – that’s going to be immediately compatible with the body. Now that is technology!