Biomimetics is a new concept in dentistry with one goal in mind; returning a tooth back to its natural state as much as possible. This process involves the mimicking of a natural healthy tooth when performing a dental restoration. According to Dr Magne, chairman of esthetic dentistry at USC and one of the foremost researchers in the area of bonded (non-metallic) restorations, “the physiological performance of intact (non-diseased) teeth is the result of an intimate and balanced relationship between biological, mechanical, functional, and aesthetic parameters.” He explains that natural teeth, through the optimal combination of enamel (the hard outer coating) and dentin (the softer underlying organic structure) constitute the perfect and unmatched compromise between stiffness, strength, and resilience. Alterations in the structural integrity of teeth due to restorative procedures and changes due to aging can easily violate this subtle balance, ultimately leading to increased failure. By following biomimetic principles, we can strengthen teeth by increasing their resistance to crown deformation. This is done by only removing diseased tooth structure and using modern advanced materials which imitate natural tooth mechanics much more closely than materials used in the past.
The biomimetic approach is not only tooth conserving, but it is also functionally and biologically sound. It is in sharp contrast to the traditional crown technique, which renders the underlying tooth structure hypo-functional due to its stiffness and rigidity. It is important to note that hypo-functionality caused by the crown technique also leads to an increased incidence of pulpal deterioration resulting in avoidable root canal treatment. A good analogy of this concept is having an arm weaken or atrophy due to being placed into a cast for a prolonged period of time. In addition, we often notice gum irritation due to traditional crowns being placed under the gum to hide the metal edges. These are all avoidable problems using biomechanically sound bonded restorations.
“The goal of biomimetics in restorative dentistry is to return all of the prepared dental tissues to full function by the creation of a hard tissue bond that allows functional stresses to pass through the tooth, drawing the entire crown into the final functional biologic and esthetic result.”
The biomimetic principles are very much in agreement with our existing treatment philosophies. We are excited to integrate these principals in our office.