What is biomimetic dentistry?“Biomimetic” refers to “copying or mimicking nature.” Applied to dentistry, biomimetic approaches use Mother Nature as a guide when rebuilding a part of a tooth, or its complete structure. The fewer the synthetic materials used to recreate the tooth, and the less the natural tooth is altered, the better the final result – teeth that move, bend, and have other physical properties indistinguishable from untouched, healthy tooth material.
What are biomimetic restorations?At the heart of biomimetic dentistry is the treatment of weak, fractured, and otherwise damaged teeth in a way that seals each tooth from bacterial infection and retains its natural strength. Teeth may be bonded or glued back together. Portions of the tooth may be “pieced together” like a jigsaw puzzle, without removing excess natural structure, and without adding excess synthetic components (like pins and posts). A few examples of biomimetic restorations in action include:
- Cavity treatment with metal-free fillings that are not only non-toxic but require minimal tooth structure to be “drilled away” to accommodate the filling. This combination of advanced, cosmetic materials and gentle techniques that promote natural healing and lifelike design, form the greatest bond between dental ceramics and organic structure. So, biomimetic fillings are designed to last a lifetime. Traditional fillings and restorations tend to crack, which allows bacteria to penetrate and infect the tooth.
- Conservative crowns eliminate the aggressive “reduction” or drilling-down of natural, otherwise healthy tooth structure. Advanced materials and adhesives build up teeth, replicating natural strength, and resilience. Dr. Altman and Dr. Dalwani are adept at recreating teeth in a manner where they respond to daily functions, biting, and chewing, no differently than natural and healthy teeth. Such techniques and products reduce the risk of stress and cracking for lifelong durability and health.
- Alternatives to root canal therapy are recommended, as biomimetic dentists like Dr. Altman and Dr. Dalwani recognize that no procedure can completely clean out the bacteria at the center of an infected tooth. Harmful pathogens are left behind. Your dentist is happy to discuss restorative procedures that use resilient, tissue-friendly (biocompatible) materials to seal teeth from infection, preventing reinfection, and the need for root canal treatment down the road. If a tooth cannot be “saved” with restorative therapy, she will discuss safe tooth replacement with dental implants.
- Inlays and onlays provide a more conservative option for restoring a damaged tooth. Dr. Altman and Dr. Dalwani may use this option when a tooth requires more coverage than a filling but does not require a full dental crown. Sometimes also called partial crowns, biomimetic inlays and onlays can preserve the maximum amount of natural tooth while effectively strengthening the tooth with natural, attractive materials.