What is Biomimetic Dentistry?
I’ve shared information about a lot of problems in dentistry, and it’s time to talk about what you should seek in your dental care.
If mercury fillings and root canals are bad, what should you do instead?
How do you replace them?
The answer is simpler than you might think. I’m going to teach you a tool to use when considering dental options. It’s called Biomimetic Dentistry.
If you look closely at that word, you’ll see the root of the word is “mimic”. This kind of dentistry mimics a natural tooth and replaces it with something as close to nature as possible. The goal is to return the tooth to its original strength, function, and esthetics.
One caution is that the Biomimetic Dental organizations are not entirely holistic in nature. They are focused on replacing dental structures, not necessarily on whole-body health. Biomimetic dentistry, performed along with Holistic and Biologic Dental practices, is the best of all worlds.
Traditional Dental Restorations
Traditional ways to restore teeth focus on the strength of the filling or the crown. The stronger the better, to prevent the dental material from breaking. Unfortunately, this leaves out what is best for the tooth and creates a cycle that isn’t too pretty.
There is a sad but very real life cycle of a tooth that happens once it has been traditionally restored.
A tooth gets a small cavity and is restored with a strong filling. If it’s a mercury filling, it will eventually get a new cavity underneath, which leads to a larger filling. Even new resin fillings often have to be replaced within 10 years of original placement and the filling gets larger each time.
That larger filling weakens the tooth, and sometimes that weakened tooth fractures. The larger filling is also more difficult to place and may not be completely sealed at the edge. The filling then leaks and gets a cavity underneath again.
Another filling may not be possible at this point because of the extent of the tooth structure that has been lost to cavities and breaking. The tooth will now need a crown or an onlay (a porcelain restoration that covers a portion of the tooth rather than the entire tooth like a crown.)
Preparing the tooth for the crown or onlay is stressful on the tooth, and the tooth may die from the stress. The filling and cavity are also deep now, and close to the nerve which also may lead to the tooth dying. Traditionally, a root canal will now be prescribed to “save” the tooth.
You may know that the root canal tooth has a high chance of re-infecting, leading to the tooth being lost and either being replaced with a dental implant, or the person choosing to live without the tooth.
Not only is this a sad life cycle for a tooth, but it is also very costly. Biomimetic dentistry works to intercept this life cycle early in the process and prevent tooth loss and the cost associated with this dental tragedy.
Your tooth needs something that can strengthen the part of your tooth that needs to be stronger, and support and protect the part that is weak. Biomimetic dentistry does just that! If done correctly, 60-80% of traditional crowns and root canals can be avoided.
You read that right. These techniques use a glass/resin mixture called composite, or porcelain, to seal and bond to the tooth. In addition, a holistic dentist will use ozone when placing these restorations to kill any bacteria that may still be living in the tooth.
This protects the tooth from further decay, prevents tooth sensitivity, and eliminates stress in the tooth that might cause it to crack or break.
You may have heard of composite fillings and porcelain crowns or onlays. Don’t be fooled into thinking they are all alike. There are different ways to use these materials and hundreds of different brands that have very different properties.
Fish sticks and a beautifully cooked piece of fish at a fine restaurant are both fish. But the handling, the quality, and the preparation are very different. Make sure you are getting the right kind of restoration, performed the right way.
I’ve seen many composite restorations function for less time than the mercury fillings they replaced. Don’t make that mistake. There are, unfortunately, no dental materials that are the exact replacement for tooth structure, but find a dentist that performs Biomimetic Dentistry and you can feel more confident you are getting a restoration that is similar to your natural tooth.
The materials used in the biomimetic method have been intensely researched and have over 25 years of proven clinical success. These restorations will take a dentist more time to complete, and few dentists (fewer than 1%) have received the necessary training.
It is worth your time to find a dentist familiar with biomimetic dentistry methods to replace fillings and restore your teeth. It’s a great question to ask when you call a “biological dentist” from an online search.