All Press Releases for August 27, 2008



    /24-7PressRelease/ - GURNEE, IL, September 3, 2008 - The Japanese have produced stem cells from wisdom tooth of ten-year-old girl. A previous report of growing livers from stem cells found in wisdom teeth was also very exciting. Last year it was shown that stem cells could be created from human skin cells. The National Institute of Industrial Science and Technology of Japan used the cells of a 10-year-old girl that had been frozen for three years.

Harvard scientist. Douglas Melton converts one type of living cell to another according to research published in Nature on August 27, 2008. This was done without first converting the tissues to a pluripotent state or into stem cells as was accomplished in Japan. Pancreatic cells were converted in insulin producing cells. These two studies show that conversion from multipotent to pluripotent stem cells is possible and also that multipotent cells can be converted into other tissues. Young healthy cells undifferentiated cells found in wisdom teeth are ideal for both purposes and superior to mature cells.

This is good news for a Chicago area Dentist who holds several patents on devices and methods for collection of stem cells during minimally invasive early removal of wisdom teeth. The recent Japanese study also showed that stem cells were viable after the wisdom tooth cells were frozen for three years. Once cells are frozen three years and a hundred years are basically the same. This excellent source of stem cells is easily obtained and does not involve the moral dilemma associated with embryonic stem cells. It serves as a proof of concept for Dr Ira L Shapira's business plan of collecting the stem cells of millions of young American patients and freezing them for future uses including, hopefully a "vaccine against aging" or a modern fountain of youth. The research just released in Nature now shows that these cells can be converted directly into a needed tissue such as insulin producing cells. Research has shown that healthy stem cells tend to spread through the entire body replacing aging cells. Continual replacement of stem cells periodically throughout life will allow healthy stems cells to continually replace youthful cells with aging cells. The stem cells from wisdom teeth are in a quiescent phase for many years before they form a tooth and are therefore less affected by contaminants it the environment such as lead, Bis Phenol A and damage from radiation and other sources. The use of stem cells from umbilical cord blood has been proven to replace bone marrow transplants when a suitable HLA match is unavailable and many parents are saving cord blood for future personal use. It is very possible that saving of cord blood may be the greatest gift a parent can give a child. The use of stem cells is in its infancy and future uses will probably seem miraculous by today's standards. Imagine what research can do over the next 10 or 20 years much less a lifetime of 80 years or more. Collection of stem cells from wisdom teeth is a second chance for parents who did not save umbilical cord blood. The study in nature shows how other uses of these cells are being discovered continually.

Dr Ira L Shapira, a Gurnee dentist has filed several method and device patents over the last ten years for collection of stem cells from the jaws during removal of third molars. His techniques require only a tiny opening of a few millimeters in the mouth and the uncalcified tooth bud is liquefied and collected with irrigation and vacuum. The lower wisdom teeth are most easily accessed by this new technology and patients can have two samples stored on opposite coasts or bank one for personal use and donate or sell the second for research purposes.

Dr Ira L Shapira became interested in the recovery of stem cells from the jaws and from wisdom teeth for very personal reasons. His wife, Elise is a carrier of the BRAC 1 gene and has been thru chemotherapy for breast and ovarian cancer seven times since 1991. The use of stem cells from wisdom teeth and bone marrow could be a lifesaving answer to many difficult problems. His interest was first sparked when his aunt developed Leukemia and was told she was not a candidate for a bone marrow transplant, even though there were many willing candidates for bone marrow donation, because she was too old and could not survive the ordeal of anti-rejection drugs. Dr Shapira had placed dental implants in her lower jaw many years prior to her cancer and wondered if he had saved the bone marrow when he prepared the site for the implants if it could have been frozen and used for bone marrow transplants without the use of anti-rejection drugs. He thought that that if that would work why not collect bone marrow during the extraction of wisdom teeth and freeze it for future use if needed. He then took the process even further suggesting that stem cells could be collected from wisdom teeth for that purpose. He contacted the NIH but his idea was dismissed and he was told it was not workable. The NIH later announced the discovery of stem cells from the pulp of extracted wisdom teeth. The technology to expand stem cells did not exist when Dr Shapira first started his project but today companies like Aastrom have automated the process of expanding stem cells.

Dr Shapira realized early on that a more efficient method of stem cell collection than extracted wisdom teeth would result from the early minimally invasive removal of wisdom teeth before they became calcified. Millions of young adults go thru a painful process of wisdom tooth removal yearly often experiencing a great deal of discomfort and surgical and anesthesia risks. A small percentage of patients can experience permanent numbness to the jaw, tongue, lips or teeth following extraction and a dry socket is a dreaded short-term painful experience. Other patients can experience damage to their TM Joints and suffer from TMD problems including jaw pain, headaches and ear and sinus symptoms. The dental profession has always waited for the wisdom teeth to become large and calcified and then the patient must undergo painful surgery to remove large teeth thru a small hole in the jaw or make a very large hole in the jaw. Dr Shapira felt that early removal via minimally invasive techniques would be far superior. It would not only collect younger and healthier stem cells but it would be accomplished is a simple surgical procedure that could be accomplished in a matter of minutes and eliminate most of the surgical trauma and pain associated with the extraction of wisdom teeth. The wisdom teeth in children appear as a small dark spot (tooth bud is not calcified and appears dark), which is easily accessible at the surface of the jaw on the radiographs of children. That is because the tooth has not yet differentiated into the various cells that make a tooth, and still is uncalcified mass of undifferentiated cells from all three germ levels. The cells that would eventually turn into dentin, enamel, blood vessels and nerve cells including over 25 different nervous receptors found in the periodontal ligament were still undifferentiated (pluripotent or multipotent) cells. They were still uncalcified and could be removed in the 8-12 year old with ease and minimal discomfort.

Dr Shapira envisioned the personal banking of stem cells from wisdom teeth being used to treat a multitude of illnesses. When umbilical cord blood was found to contain stem cells he put his idea on hold but continued to read everything he could find on stems cells and cord blood. There also appeared to be problems associated with cord blood including contamination and the fact that collection of cord blood was clearly secondary to the more important issues of childbirth. At an NIH sponsored meeting on ethical issues in cord blood banking in the 1990's Dr Shapira discovered a duality in cord blood researchers stances. The public stance was that cord blood was a public resource that did not belong to the patients it came from but to the public. These same researchers had often done personal cord blood banking for personal use. Collection of stem cells from the mouth would be a very controlled process and pediatric dentists would likely do most of the early minimally invasive cases in just a few minutes with minimal local anesthetic or discomfort involved.

With a wife with a genetic cancer predisposition Dr Shapira believe that stem cells from wisdom teeth were a renewable resource that would allow banking of stem cells for public and private use from a single patient. He contacted the American Academy of Oral and Maxillofacial surgery but found minimal interest in alternatives to the status quo. Most oral surgeons make their living extracting wisdom teeth in young adults and there was little interest in early removal via minimally invasive means. Dr Shapira also met with officers of the Academy of Pediatric Dentistry but was told he would need to sponsor research to prove the viability of collection of stem cells by the early minimally invasive removal of third molars. This new research is exactly the proof of concept that the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry asked for. Over a period of several years Dr Shapira expects that a larger portion of wisdom tooth removal will be done early with minimally invasive techniques.

When Dolly the Sheep was clone she was physiologically as old as her mother when she was two years old. This is probably due to shortening of Telomeres on the end DNA chain that occurs with aging. These cells will be younger and healthier than stem cells derived from adult patients. Because wisdom teeth would be removed at a young age the Telomeres would still be intact and could conceivably be used as a vaccine against aging. It is now expected that stem cells will be used to treat a variety of diseases other than cancer including MS, paralysis secondary to injury, Parkinson's, diabetes and possibly dementias and Alzheimer's. Stem cells will also be used to regrow organs and body parts as well as tissues like bone (structural and marrow) and skin.

Dr Shapira expects this new research to propel his minimally invasive techniques for early removal of wisdom teeth into a viable and profitable business. There are many advantages to stem cells from wisdom teeth over those from umbilical cord blood. The most obvious advantage is that parents who did not save their children's umbilical cord blood now have a second chance to procure this valuable resource for their children. They will also be able to let a simple procedure replace the wisdom tooth extraction trauma. The controlled environment will allow convenient scheduling of the procedure that will have less expensive processing than cord blood. The yearly storage costs would be in line with cord blood and while not expensive per individual when multiplied by millions of patients adding more to the pool each year it will probably create a highly profitable company.

The devices patented by Dr Shapira can also be used with minimal modification to minimally collect stem cells and bone marrow from the hips, sternum and calvarium. He is currently in discussions with companies over licensing his technology for minimally invasive bone marrow collection. Stemcor is currently looking at minimally invasive collection of bone marrow from hips to replace the painful but effective current method and has FDA approval for trials. Dr Shapira's devices could be used as an alternative to Stemcor's devices for other companies wishing to enter this new field of minimally invasive bone marrow collection. Dr Shapira's biggest regret is the years lost when I could not find a business partner to advance this concept. Had he succeeded earlier there would already be tens of millions who would have this valuable commodity saved and would not be looking forward to extraction of fully developed wisdom teeth. He believes that there is a tremendous opportunity for investors wishing to capitalize on the future of medicine. Production of devices and storage fees could produce extraordinary income opportunities. Dr Shapira was a frequent lecturer in the 1990's at the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine and was one of the first dentists discussing the effect of dental health and periodontal disease on overall health. One of his lectures was turned into a chapter in a textbook on anti-aging medicine. Sleep and Health Journal has an article on this subject at

Dr Shapira is also an early pioneer of Dental Sleep Medicine and was a charter member of the Sleep Disorder Dental Society, which later became the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine. He is a Diplomate of the American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine and the Academy of Pain Management. He did research n the 1980's as a visiting Assistant Professor at Rush Medical School in the relation of jaw position in patients with TMJ disorders to the jaw position of sleep apnea patients. This work was later verified in a NHLBI paper in 2001 on Sleep and Cardiovascular consequences of TMJ Disorders.

He currently treats patients with sleep apnea in his Gurnee office and is creating Chicagoland Dental Sleep Medicine with offices in Skokie, Schaumburg and Bannockburn. Dr Shapira is planning additional offices in Chicago and other suburbs. He is the creator of which is a website dedicated to warning the public about the dangers of sleep apnea and offering information on alternatives to CPAP for patients who do not tolerate CPAP. It is estimated that only about one in three patients use their CPAP on a regular basis and most average only 4-5 hours a night not he prescribed 7 ½-8 hours a night.

He was an early adapter of Neuromuscular Dentistry and studied with Barney Jankelson the father of the field. He used neuromuscular tools to evaluate the jaw position. These are the same tools used to treat TMJ disorders and Migraine headaches. It is now believed that central sensitization of the central nervous system by the trigeminal nerve leads to many disorders including migraines and fibromyalgia. Dr Shapira is a section editor and author for Sleep and Health Journal. His " suffer no more "article has been helpful to thousands of readers with TMJ disorders. Patients with TMJ disorders, migraines or chronic daily headaches will find it an excellent starting point for understanding neuromuscular dentistry.

Neuromuscular Dentistry is the science behind the Pure Power Mouthguards being used by top athletes to increase physical performance and balance. While Dr Shapira is excited helping athletes improve their performance he believes that neuromuscular dentistry can be used to treat balance and other medical problems in aging baby boomers. Pure power mouthguards are often considered a legal alternative to steroids in sports.

Dr Ira L Shapira is an author and section editor of Sleep and Health, President of I HATE CPAP LLC, President Dato-TECH, and has a Dental Practice with his partner Dr Mark Amidei. He has recently formed Chicagoland Dental Sleep Medicine Associates. He is a Regent of ICCMO and its representative to the TMD Alliance, He was a founding and certified member of the Sleep Disorder Dental Society which became the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine, A founding member of DOSA the Dental Organization for Sleep Apnea. He is a Diplomate of the American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine, A Diplomat of the American Academy of Pain Management, a graduate of LVI. He is a former assistant professor at Rush Medical Schools Sleep Service where he worked with Dr Rosalind Cartwright who is a founder of Sleep Medicine and Dental Sleep Medicine. Dr Shapira is a consultant to numerous sleep centers and teaches courses in Dental Sleep Medicine in his office to doctors from around the U.S. He is the Founder of I HATE CPAP LLC and Dr Shapira also holds several patents on methods and devices for the prophylactic minimally invasive early removal of wisdom teeth and collection of bone marrow and stem cells. Dr Shapira is a licensed general dentist in Illinois and Wisconsin.

# # #

Contact Information

Ira Shapira
Sleep and Health Journal
Gurnee, Illinois
Voice: 847-623-5530
E-Mail: Email Us Here
Website: Visit Our Website