What is Biomimetic Dentistry?

Boutique Dentistry for Nashville, Tennessee

Nashville cosmetic dentist Dr. Kent E. White is a leader in biomimetic dentistry. With biomimetic dentistry, Dr. White can provide you with high-quality dental care that is durable, functional, and very attractive.

But what is biomimetic dentistry? Dr. Pascal Magne is a founding father of biomimetic dentistry, a type of dentistry focused on preserving natural teeth and preventing further damage. Here are some of the essential principles of the discipline to understand how biomimetic dentistry can help you.

middle aged woman smiling, resting her chin on her handsPreserve Natural Tooth Structure

One of the essential principles of biomimetic dentistry is that we seek to preserve as much of your natural tooth structure as possible. In biomimetic dentistry, it’s understood that there are no restorations that are as durable and attractive as your natural tooth structure. When you have a cavity or tooth decay, we will only remove the decayed part of the tooth and restore it with material that closely mimics your natural tooth.

Let’s take a look at a root canal as an example. In traditional dentistry, a root canal removes the infected or inflamed pulp from the inside of your tooth with a drill. In drilling, much of the healthy tooth is removed along with the infected pulp. Traditional dentistry dictates that the next step is to fill the hole with a white or metal filling. Unfortunately, traditional white fillings tend to shrink, leaving room for bacteria to get under the filling and cause more decay. Metal fillings are no better. Metal fillings could cause your tooth to crack. A cracked tooth will bring you more pain as bacteria can penetrate the tooth, and eventually, the tooth will begin to decay again. With this traditional dentistry approach, you are no closer to a fixed tooth than when you came in the first time. In fact, with the second round of decay, you’ve lost more of your natural tooth than you did the first time around. 

To treat tooth decay using biomimetic dentistry, your dentist will use advanced technology such as a dental laser or air abrasion wand to remove decay and bacteria from the tooth. With his approach, no extra, healthy tooth material is removed. Once the decay is extracted, your dentist will use strong bonding material that closely mimics your natural enamel (outermost layer of tooth) and dentin (second layer of tooth) to seal the tooth and prevent a resurgence of bacteria.

If these fillings were to fail, your teeth could still be repaired and preserved because no extra tooth material was removed or will be removed. Biomimetic dentistry reduces the number of root canals necessary and increases the likelihood that your teeth will last a lifetime. 

Use Materials Similar to Natural Tooth Structure

To achieve the ideal of minimal invasiveness, using materials that function as closely to your natural tooth structure as possible is essential. Ceramic materials, like porcelain, are similar to your natural tooth. It is almost as durable as your enamel and flexible as the dentin within your tooth.

Another property of porcelain that makes it the best choice for tooth restoration is that it bonds directly to the natural tooth. Allowing the porcelain to pull the tooth together instead of pushing out as a metal filling would. 

Biomimetic dentistry does not use materials like metal amalgam. Metal fillings are antithetical to the health of your teeth. It doesn’t function like natural tooth material and can contribute additional damage.

Achieve a Natural Appearance

Biomimetic literally means “imitation of life,” and that includes appearance. That’s why biomimetic dentistry and cosmetic dentistry go hand in hand. The materials we use are similar to the appearance of your natural tooth material. That means that when we complete restorations, your mouth won’t look as if it’s full of repairs. It will look like it’s full of beautiful, healthy teeth — which it will be. 

Porcelain looks like your natural teeth. If you’re tired of showing off your metal fillings when you talk, smile, or laugh, porcelain is the best choice. Unlike traditional white fillings, porcelain is resistant to staining. You still need to brush your teeth twice a day, floss and see your biomimetic dentist regularly, but it won’t be as hard to keep your restoration looking pearly white. Lastly, your natural teeth have a translucent quality; light shows through. Porcelain has the same effect. Allowing light to shine through makes your restoration look just like the rest of your teeth.

Parts Have to Work with the Whole

Your body isn’t designed as a bunch of independent mechanisms–every part works in close association with others. When there’s a dysfunction in one part, the consequences are seen in other places. That’s why a problem with one tooth may actually be caused by a problem in another tooth or possibly even a systemic problem, such as TMJ.

Sometimes this means that treatment of your problem may not be accomplished with a minimal, conservative solution. It might require a full mouth reconstruction that considers the systemic causes. In the end, this is actually a conservative solution, though it may not seem like it. Treating the systemic problem will prevent future damage to your teeth and jaw.

Benefits of Biomimetic Dentistry

As you can see, biomimetic dentistry is an option for your teeth that promotes the health of your teeth and the health of your overall body. Here are some of what biomimetic dentistry can do for you:

  • Minimally invasive treatments that negate the use of anesthesia
  • Affordability from fewer overall and non-invasive treatments 
  • Reduced risk of further damage
  • No harsh chemicals or materials used in your mouth
  • Higher success rates because the tooth is sealed off from bacteria
  • Strengthens teeth by preserving your natural tooth material and using restoration material that mimics natural teeth. 

A Dentist Focused on Health, not Just Repairs

Biomimetic dentistry is focused on ensuring you have healthy teeth and a healthy mouth. Our goal isn’t just to repair damage as it arises but to minimize your risk of damage in the future.

If you are looking for an expert biomimetic dentist in Nashville, please call (615) 383-6787 for an appointment with Dr. White at the Center for Advanced Dentistry.