Medical technology is paving the way for people to throw out those dentures, bridges or synthetic implants, and grow their own teeth back. I'm talking genuine teeth, the real McCoy. And you grow them in your mouth, in the very gaps where your dear departed teeth used to sit. The magic dust, if you will, are stem cells that come from your own gums.
Stem cells are basically unprogrammed cells. They're useful because they can be programmed to take on various functions, depending on what a body's in need of. In this case, stem cells in your gums would be extracted in order to be programmed in a lab to grow a tooth. Then doctors would insert them back into your gums, so they can do their job.
The procedure will be a lot less invasive and less traumatic than many current tooth replacement options. It's beneficial too because a living tooth isn't motionless, but adjusts in response to a person's bite, and in doing so it can help maintain the health of the surrounding teeth and gums.
Scientists anticipate making the procedure available to the public in about five years.