For the first time, scientists from the Tokyo University of Science have grown fully formed teeth from stem cells.
The artificial teeth that looked like the real thing, were sensitive to pain and could chew food.
Though the breakthrough was made on mice, it could pave the way for those who lose teeth to decay or injury to be able to grow' replacements.
Two types of stem cells, which between them contain all the instructions for making teeth, were mixed together and grown in the lab in a mixture of chemicals and vitamins that started their transformation.
After five days, they had formed a tiny tooth bud'. The fledgling tooth was then placed in a tailor-made plastic box deep inside a mouse's body, and ensured it had access to the fluids and chemical signals it needed to develop further.
Over the next 60 days it grew to form a full tooth, which was then taken out of the box and transplanted deep into the jawbone of a mouse that had had a tooth removed.
Six weeks later, it had fused with the jawbone, the study said.
The tooth had all the components of normal teeth, including enamel, crown and root, and connective fibres to fix it to bone.
The bioengineered teeth were fully functional ... there was no trouble biting and eating food after transplantation, the Daily Mail quoted Masamitsu Oshima, assistant professor at the Research Institute for Science and Technology, Tokyo University of Science, as saying.
Professor Takashi Tsuji of the University spearheaded the research.
The stem cell teeth that are likely to cost around 2,000 pounds each is still at an early stage and researchers say it will take at least a decade before people can grow their own teeth'.
The detail of the achievement has been published in the journal PLoS ONE .