Baby Tooth Bank.


Photo: Rodolfo Gonzales

Austin-based start-up BioEden has opened America's first baby tooth bank, hoping to harvest and freeze stem cells from the tooth's pulp. Scientists are skeptical:

Austin-based start-up company BioEden has opened the nation's first baby tooth bank, which harvests and freezes stem cells from a tooth's pulp. The hope is that the cells may someday be useful to treat disease or heal paralyzing spinal cord injuries.

Currently, it's not clear whether such cells could do anything more than help grow the dentin that could be used to reconstruct a broken tooth. Scientists say it will take at least five to 10 years to find out.

But for a $595 processing fee and $89 a year for storage, BioEden will harvest and cryogenically preserve the cells until scientists find a use for them.

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