New York City Dentist and an advocate of Biomimetic Dentistry, Dr Marc Lazare is one of the celebrity dentists to date in the profession who has remained grounded in spite of all his achievements. Featured in several American TV Shows sharing his knowledge about keeping our oral health in check, Dr Marc Lazare is the author of many peer reviewed dental articles and the author of the book “Dr Lazare’s The Patient’s Guide to Dentistry”, a book that will answer a patient’s inquiry about receiving the ideal dental treatment.
A renowned lecturer and member of the Clinical Faculty at New York City University College of Dentistry and member of the Clinical Faculty at North Shore University Dr Marc shares with Dental Access his insights about his passion for dentistry and his personal insights in life.
1. What is Biomimetic Dentistry? Is it different from practicing Aesthetic Dentistry in terms of materials and skill?
Biomimetic dentistry is tooth-conserving dentistry. Literally translated “Bio-mimetic” means to mimic life. We study nature’s properties so that we can better duplicate it. Biomimetic dentistry treats weak, fractured, and decayed teeth in a way that keeps them strong and seals them from the invasion of bacteria. It reduces the need for cutting teeth down for crowns and helps to prevent root canal treatments whenever possible. In essence, it is utilizing the latest in dental materials and technology to preserve what we have, for as long as possible.
In terms of materials, techniques and skills Biomimetic Dentistry can take Aesthetic Dentistry to a whole different level of dental practice. Biomimetic dentistry is not only about creating the strongest restoration, but rather creating a restoration that is highly compatible with the structural, functional, and biologic properties of underlying dental tissues, thereby reproducing and emulating the original performance, characteristics and aesthetics of the natural tooth. It does take a different skill set, some new materials and protocols, a bit more patience and a certain amount understanding of the science behind the techniques.
I am very proud to be an instructor of smile transformation and dental aesthetics along with being on the forefront of the Biomimetic dental movement. In 2014 I coined the phrase and published an article titled “The Biomimetic Smile Makeover”, that demonstrated just how one can conserve and strengthen tooth structure while transforming a smile. I know how rejuvenating one’s smile has the power to inspire self-confidence and rebuild one’s image. Invasive procedures and unnecessary reduction of tooth structure can eventually weaken the teeth and result in stresses and cracks, contributing to bacterial infections and fractures, and the subsequent need for root canals, extractions, implants, and bridges. By adhering to the principles and fundamentals of Biomimetic Dentistry, we can achieve uncompromised esthetic results and give our patients the beautiful, healthy, and youthful smiles that will help enable them to find new love, land that new job, give them that extra edge in business and networking, and to simply just live a happier and healthier lifestyles.
2. What can our patients gain from this technique and how far can a dentist treat a patient with this new method?
As a dentist we need to shift the context of our thought process and re-think what is possible. Stop thinking retention form and start understanding adhesion. Don’t condemn a tooth that still tests vital. Just because a tooth had a root canal or has crack lines does not mean it needs a crown. To reach this new level of dentistry and clinical excellence we need to look way beyond the core techniques they taught you in school. Treat each patient as an individual, enlist the science and techniques of Biomimetic Dentistry, and recognize that dentistry is the art of improvisation.
With Biomimetic Dentistry, we don’t just fill teeth, we restore them. The most successful dentistry is comprised of procedures that are the least invasive. This is the philosophy and primary emphasis behind the principles of the biomimetic dentistry that we are proud to practice. For example, if a tooth is structurally compromised, we reinforce the remaining tooth structure with a polyethylene fibered mesh to disperse the forces imposed on the tooth when chewing, and layer the esthetic, biocompatible bonding materials in a way that minimizes the stresses between the restoration and the tooth structure. This helps to prevent developing cracks that could lead to fracture, and protects the margins from breaking down in order to seal out bacteria.
The materials that we use mimic the elasticity and strength of enamel and dentin, and are layered to enhance the bond strength of the material to the tooth, minimize the stresses that cause a restoration to break down, and blend in the natural shades and characteristic of the original tooth color to make a final restoration that is difficult to find, even when blown up in high definition on a big screen.
3. Are there challenges at stake when you apply this principle?
Once you are taught to understand the principles of Biomimetic Dentistry it will be very hard to go back to what you did before. Your mind will be opened and you will be armed with the knowledge and tools to do things that you didn’t think was possible before. The protocols are technique sensitive and more time consuming. You will need to learn new layering techniques and ways to excavate caries that avoids pulpal exposure. It may require some learning curve, but you will be doing the kind of dentistry that saves tooth structure, prevents sensitivity, protects the vitality of the pulp, and stops the tooth-death cycle. Once you educate your patients on what you are doing, you will be able to charge more for those procedures, but they wont mind because you are saving them money, time and good tooth structure by avoiding those root canals, posts, crowns, and extractions. Your practice will grow simply by doing right by your patients and having them express their gratitude in more referrals.
4. After having a successful launch with the PIPE group, what are your next steps in introducing Biomimetic Dentistry in the Philippines?
I am so very proud to be with PIPE (Perio, Implant, Prostho, Esthetics). I had the privilege to meet such an amazing group of dentists from the Philippines and I was very impressed with their passion and desire to learn Biomimetic Dentistry. This is a discipline that will save teeth, save money for your patients and help to distinguish you and grow your practice tremendously. I have been talking with Dr. Sonny Oliva and plan to coordinate efforts with the distinguished leaders and members of PIPE and my teaching institution – The Lazare Institute for Biomimetics and Smile Design, to create lecture seminars, hands on workshops, live patient demonstrations and mentoring and certification with those that are interested in taking their learning and dentistry to the next level. Courses and training will be held in the Philippines, New York City City and other locations as well.
5. As a celebrity dentist, you are also revered as one of the top clinicians in New York City having established a trendy and updated dental practice. How are you able to balance both career and personal life in spite of your busy schedule?
I am still striving to find that balance between work and personal, it is not easy. My children will always be my first priority, but the same way a parent finds enough love for each child, I have more than enough energy and love to share between my professional and my personal life. Despite a crazy schedule, somehow everything gets done. However, in order to find true balance, I will need to take a little more time for myself. The lines between work and recreation are just somewhat blurred because I really enjoy what I do.
6. Who can you say is the most influential person / people in your life that inspire you daily?
Every person comes into your life for a reason. Some are a constant like my parents who I dedicate everything to, and some are transient or lasting, like a specific teacher, lecturer, or friend whose words, suggestions, connections and examples can open your mind to the possibilities and help to set you on a certain path. Then there are my children who recharge my batteries, renew my love for life and give me purpose. I have others in my life too whose love, kindness and inspiration refills my cup everyday, allowing me to pour that love, kindness and inspiration in the cups of those around me. After all you can only share what it is that you have.
7. After achieving a successful career, is there anything that is still in your bucket list?
I am just getting warmed up. My bucket list runs deep. To start, I plan to continue combining my passion and leadership in Biomimetic and Aesthetic Dentistry with my love for travel and teaching. I am fortunate to have been invited to lecture and give workshops in amazing countries around the world. I love to open people’s minds and share what I have learned and continue to learn. Reconstructing and saving one tooth at a time, transforming one smile at a time and changing one person’s life at a time. Outside of raising 2 of the greatest kids in the entire world, this is my passion and my calling.
8. How would you describe yourself in one sentence?
Dedicated to my family, friends and patients and devoted to the pursuit of excellence, personal transformation and sharing of knowledge while exploring the world and living life to its fullest.