The Tooth’s enamel is the strongest material in the human body. Unfortunately, modern diets and lack of appropriate care can weaken and destroy it over time, leading to the need for dental intervention. Dental specialists practice a variety of different types of care to cater to their patients’ needs, including innovative biomimetic dentistry. This approach has become more popular in advanced practice dental practices and clinics in recent years to reduce the need for more invasive interventions like root canals and excessive tooth removal for preparing crowns.
Biomimetic dentistry is most easily understood by breaking down the term into the two words it encompasses: bio (life) and mimetic (to mimic). Essentially, the goal of the practice is to create the most natural modifications possible to the teeth. In doing so, more of the tooth’s own natural structure is preserved, which helps the tooth maintain its strength and integrity. Marc Lazare, D.D.S., M.A.G.D. is passionate about incorporating biomimetic dentistry into his Manhattan practice and is skilled in the use of new techniques, products, and protocols that control bacteria and decay and reconstructs teeth in a way that best mimics what was there originally.
The Difference of Biomimetic Dentistry
Unlike other materials of the body, like bones and skin, the teeth can’t self-heal. Teeth may be damaged by the high-sugar diets of most Americans, disease, trauma, or lack of affordable dental care options, and can cause pain or other dental and health issues. While there is a recognized need to perform both preventative care and intervention, whenever possible, conservative dentistry is the preferred approach.
By preserving as much of the natural tooth material as possible, the teeth remain strong and resilient. In some procedures where the teeth must be altered, such as the placement of crowns and onlays, older techniques required much of the existing healthy teeth to be stripped of their protective outer enamel. Through a biomimetic approach, the dentist can address cosmetic imperfections in the teeth by suggesting alternatives like adding bonding agents and building upon the teeth without impacting their inherent sturdiness.
A cavity is a bacterial infection in the tooth, which causes the material to decay. In biomimetic dentistry, tooth decay is removed gradually, with specific techniques to help avoid the need for root canal therapy. Special dye stains are used to only remove the decayed portion of the tooth, leaving the healthy part of the tooth intact.
Traditional fillings are rigid, undercut and weaken the enamel and replace a large part of the tooth, and are not impervious to bacteria. A biomimetic restoration filling does not have these limitations as it is very securely bonded to the tooth and functions more like actual tooth material. The treatment process requires a meticulous approach and multiple different steps in the removal and replacement process.
Avoiding Crowns and Root Canals
In the world of dentistry, a crown is a tooth-shaped cap that is placed over a damaged tooth. Up until the advent of biomimetic dentistry, the crowning process required the natural tooth to be ground down, often to a nub, to accommodate the artificial tooth placement overtop of it. Healthy tooth structure was removed, and the process left the area of the mouth weakened. In biomimetic dentistry, the tooth can be rebuilt from newer material that is more tooth-like, so the preparation for a crown and its placement are unnecessary. Root canals may be performed less frequently by a biomimetic dentist because these practitioners favor minimally-invasive treatments that can control the tooth infection, and may not need to focus on total elimination. One method is to treat the decay in the tooth and to seal and protect over the nerve, rather than removing the affected pulp. In cases where a patient is asymptomatic with no pain or infection, the dentist may be very successful with this approach.
The Benefits of Biomimetic Dentistry
Dentistry has traditionally been performed through methods that are invasive to the teeth. Extra drilling to ensure all visibly discolored parts of the tooth are removed, sacrificing external areas of the tooth to dramatically change the internal components, and eroding healthy parts of the tooth to rebuild it with less resilient material were and are common practices that are counterintuitive to good patient care.
Biomimetic dentistry has raised the standards under which dentists operate. Most dental procedures can be modified to adhere to biomimetic principles. The result is an end to the more aggressive dentistry. Biomimetic dentistry supports more preventative measures, such as sealants and minimally invasive preparations, to eliminate the need for more extensive future treatments. This helps patients keep their natural teeth longer, if not forever.
How to Find a Biomimetic Dentist
The Academy of Biomimetic Dentistry is an organization that supports the mission of these modern specialty dentists. Through their site, prospective dental patients can locate a practitioner who incorporates biomimetic principles into his or her practice. In general, biomimetic dentistry is considered a more affordable option due to the emphasis on preventative care and the techniques that result in less extensive dental work performed on the teeth.
Marc Lazare, D.D.S., M.A.G.D. – Manhattan Biomimetic Dentist
New York City dentist Dr. Marc Lazare has been elected as the president of the Academy of Biomimetic Dentistry after being a longtime board member. He continues patient care at his busy Manhattan practice while fulfilling the leadership role of the organization. Dr. Lazare is pleased with the increased exposure biomimetic dentistry is receiving and will continue to pursue great patient care through this modern method of care.
To schedule an appointment with Dr. Lazare, call 212-861-2599 today.