Translated literally, biomimetic dentistry means to copy what is life-like. When restoring damaged, broken, and decayed teeth, the goal is to return the tooth to its original strength, function, and aesthetics.
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Biomimetic dentistry accomplishes all of this in a conservative, strong, and attractive approach and has practically eliminated cutting teeth down for crowns and destructive root canal treatment. Patients are happier and often spend less compared to conventional treatment.
Biomimetic dentistry, a type of tooth conserving dentistry, treats weak, fractured, and decayed teeth in a way that keeps them strong and seals them from bacterial invasion whereas traditional approaches to treating damaged and decayed teeth require more aggressive preparation to place a “strong”, stiff restoration.
With Traditional methods the emphasis is on the strength of the restoration, but no attention is placed into the function and biomechanics of final restored tooth. By ignoring this critical aspect, it is no surprise that complications such as root canals occur more frequently and future treatment becomes progressively more aggressive and invasive. So begins the restorative dental cycle in which the teeth are ultimately lost from successive treatments.
With Biomimetic dentistry, only the damage and decay is removed from the teeth, and the final restoration is bonded to the remaining healthy natural tooth structure. These bonded restorations function and behave “Biomimetically” and break the restorative dental cycle.
Nature is our ideal model to imitate. The basic science for dentally mimicking nature is found in the BioMechanical characteristics of teeth. Our comprehension of what nature looks like and feels like is essential. Teeth move, bend and have physical dynamics of force that must be accounted for while re-making the tooth with nature as our guide. In other words, we can study nature’s properties of teeth so that we can better duplicate them.
Many competing synthetic dental materials are stronger, stiffer and seemingly more beautiful, however, their use often leads to undesirable results. Dentistry has had structural failures and problems related to the over-engineering of materials, mostly because we did not have the knowledge or the technology to imitate natural teeth. Now it is possible to rebuild teeth with materials that simulate natural teeth much more closely, and hold up better to constant chewing.
Biomimetic professionals have studied the dental scientific literature and have applied those techniques and materials. Both staff and patients can testify that teeth restored withbiomimetic restorations feel and look like real teeth and they can be confident that the potential of catastrophic failure including root canals and fractures has been reduced or eliminated altogether.
Modern adhesives and bonding techniques are the driving force of biomimetic dentistry. With traditional dentistry a healthy tooth structure had to be destroyed in order to accommodate a new restoration. It is now possible to bond or glue teeth back together and even add missing parts of the tooth reliably without removing volumes of precious tooth structure. It has the added value of sealing the tooth from bacterial infection. This has mostly eliminated the need for painful and destructive crowns and root canal treatment with its associated pins, posts, slots, grooves and other non-adhesive retention features.