What Does “Biomimetic” Really Mean?

Boutique Dentistry for Nashville, Tennessee

Nashville, TN cosmetic dentist Dr. Kent E. White has long been a leader in the field of biomimetic dentistry. For a long time, that was a term that wasn’t clearly defined. But now there is a clearer definition of what biomimetic really means, and give you a better idea of how Dr. White’s approach to dentistry can lead to better results. The term really fits into a trio of revolutionary dental concepts: bioactivity, biorestorative, and biomimetic.

Beautiful woman with healthy straight white teeth sitting at dental chair with open mouth during oral checkup while doctor working at teeth

Bioactive Materials

The term that is most clearly defined is “bioactive.” This term has been in use for a long time, but it only recently gained something of an official destination when a conference of dental experts assembled last year to give it a precise definition.

According to the assembled panel, a material should only be called “bioactive” if it causes an active and beneficial biological process when used as a restoration. One of the most common bioactive properties is the release of fluoride ions, which can repair weakened enamel.

Biorestorative Techniques

In the past, most dentists have used unnatural approaches to restoring damaged teeth. Essentially, the only approach was to drill away tooth enamel and replace it with some other material that was more or less like tooth enamel.

These days, many dentists are utilizing biorestorative techniques to repair tooth decay. In these techniques some or all of the repair is performed not by the dentist themselves, but by the material that the dentist puts in place. One of these approaches is SMART (silver-modified atraumatic restorative treatment). “Atraumatic” in this case means that the goal is to remove as little natural tooth material as possible. Instead of removing all the decayed/demineralized tooth enamel, some of it is removed and then a silver diamine fluoride treatment is applied, which helps remineralize the damaged tooth. This is combined with a compatible restorative material.

Biomimetic Approaches

In this context, then, what does “biomimetic” mean? It’s an approach to dental care that removes as little natural tooth material as possible, then seeks to stimulate the body’s limited repair systems to reverse tooth decay. At the same time, it involves the use of long-lasting restorative materials. It may also involve the use of multiple materials that are designed to work together to restore the natural teeth and promote good oral health.

The Future Is Bio

With all the recent advances in bioactive and biomimetic dentistry, it makes sense that in the future we will be doing less drilling and filling, and much more flowing and growing as new restorative materials can flow into damaged tooth enamel and stimulate growth of the mineralized tissue.

As more dentists come to adopt these approaches to dentistry, Dr. White will continue to adopt new approaches so he can remain at the forefront of this exciting approach to dental restorations.

To learn more about biomimetic dentistry and how it can help you, please call (615) 383-6787 today for an appointment with cosmetic dentist Dr. White at the Center for Advanced Dentistry in Nashville, TN.