We Do Not Fill Teeth; We Restore Them: Embracing the Biomimetic Approach
As dental technology and practices evolve, so does our understanding of preserving natural tooth structure. In the past, the standard approach to treating a decayed tooth involved removing and filling the damaged portion with a restorative material. However, modern dentistry has embraced a revolutionary approach known as biomimetic dentistry, where we no longer merely "fill" teeth but instead "restore" them to their natural form and function. In this blog, we will explore the concept of biomimetic dentistry and its benefits in preserving and enhancing our precious natural teeth.
What is Biomimetic Dentistry?
Biomimetic dentistry is a philosophy and technique that imitates the natural structure, biomechanics, and esthetics of natural teeth. The term "biomimetic" comes from the words "bio" (life) and "mimesis" (imitation), reflecting the concept of mimicking nature in dental restorations. Unlike traditional dental practices, often involving aggressive tooth reduction, biomimetic dentistry aims to preserve as much of the healthy tooth structure as possible.
Preservation of Natural Tooth Structure
One of the primary principles of biomimetic dentistry is preserving natural tooth structure. When a tooth experiences decay or damage, the goal is to remove only the affected portion, leaving the surrounding healthy tooth intact. By doing so, the natural strength and biomechanics of the tooth are maintained, reducing the risk of fractures and other complications.
Minimally Invasive Approach
Traditional dental treatments often require significant tooth reduction to create space for the restorative material, such as amalgam or dental composites, which are mostly done by dental drills only( the physical contact of the carbide or diamond drill could induce unnecessary trauma to the crystal structure of the tooth. In contrast, biomimetic dentistry uses minimally invasive techniques that require less removal of healthy tooth structure. This conservative approach maintains the tooth's integrity and minimizes the risk of sensitivity and other post-treatment issues. In our clinic, we have taken steps further by utilizing Laser energy to gently remove the affected tooth structure. This approach will protect the dental nerve in treatments that involves restoring deep cavities.
Natural Aesthetics and Functionality
Biomimetic restorations are carefully designed to mimic the appearance and functionality of natural teeth. Whether it's a direct composite filling or an indirect ceramic onlay, the restorations blend seamlessly with the surrounding teeth, creating a beautiful and natural-looking smile. Moreover, the restored teeth maintain their natural strength and chewing ability, allowing patients to enjoy their favorite foods without worry. The final restoration will mimic a tooth with anatomy rather than flat surfaces with no grooves.
Preventing the Need for Extensive Treatments
By preserving more of the natural tooth structure and using bonded restorations, biomimetic dentistry can often prevent the need for more extensive treatments in the future. Traditional dental fillings, especially large ones, may weaken the tooth over time, leading to the need for crowns or even root canal treatments. On the other hand, biomimetic restorations strengthen the tooth and reduce the likelihood of such complications.
The Role of Advanced Materials and Techniques
Biomimetic dentistry relies on advanced materials and techniques to achieve optimal results. High-quality dental composites and ceramics are used to create restorations that not only look natural but also withstand the forces of daily chewing and biting. Additionally, the use of adhesive bonding ensures a secure and long-lasting restoration.
This is a brief list of steps that we complete for every restoration:
1- No syringe computer-assisted numbing. Patients are given a choice to activate the massaging option dental chair if they desire
2- Multiple ways to protect soft tissue and isolate teeth for better access and keep saliva away from the treatment area
3- a combination of electric hand piece and WaterLase Laser to remove the diseased part of the tooth
4- Caries detection solutions to verify the depth of the infected area. This important step reduces the risk of decay regrowing under the fillings.
5-layering a variety restorative material and curing them separately. Instead of bulk-filling the tooth in one step!
6-multiple steps to polish and finish the surfaces and create anatomy on the tooth
for sure, fillings can be done with fewer steps in much less time, but the longevity, quality, and end result of a detailed restoration is not comparable to it.
Choosing Biomimetic Dentistry for Your Smile
If you value preserving your natural teeth and seek a minimally invasive approach to dental care, biomimetic dentistry might be the perfect choice for you.
By embracing this innovative approach, our dental team can restore your smile while ensuring the longevity and health of your teeth.
Remember, we do not merely "fill" teeth; we restore them using the biomimetic approach for a smile that is strong, beautiful, and built to last.
Left to right: initial removal of decay->adding detecting agent-->Laser removal and disinfection(layering the restoration ( no pic)--> final result
The patient's face (jaw) was not numb! Only the 3 teeth that we treated were anesthetized!