Instead of false teeth, a small ball of cells capable of growing into a new tooth will be implanted where the missing one used to be.
The procedure needs only a local anaesthetic and the new tooth should be fully formed within a few months of the cells being implanted.
Paul Sharpe, a specialist in the field of regenerative dentistry at the Dental Institute of King's College, London, says the new procedure has distinct advantages over false teeth that require a metal post to be driven into the jaw before being capped with a porcelain or plastic tooth.
"The surgery today can be extensive and you need to have good solid bone in the jaw and that is a major problem for some people," Professor Sharpe said.
The method could be used on far more patients because the ball of cells that grows into a tooth also produces bone that anchors to the jaw.