As the world realizes the importance of holistic health and shifts its focus towards dental health promotion and prevention, dental treatments become more patient-oriented with minimally invasive procedures. This approach is called biomimetic dentistry. While not a dental specialization, biomimetic dentistry is practiced by Dr. Reese as part of the integrated dentistry approach his clinic practices. This is in view of biomimetic dentistry as a holistic choice – a dentistry that restores teeth to as close as they were naturally.
Biomimetic Dentistry is the Holistic Choice
Biomimetic dentistry restores a tooth conservatively with materials and techniques that mimic what nature intended, avoiding root canal and loss of teeth issues.
According to AvoidRootCanal.org, a web site belonging to dentists dedicated to prevention, practicing biomimetic dentistry means that instead of grinding down teeth, dentists build up natural teeth layer by layer:
- We have the training, the technology, the materials and most importantly the commitment to save tooth structure and stop the dental cycle: after removing all diseased and broken tooth structure.
- We save good healthy teeth — we don’t grind down the tooth.
- With a restoration design based on sound engineering principles to absorb and distribute stress through the tooth as in nature. With the least possible treatment to save tooth structure…more of the tooth is left intact.
- While rebuilding the tooth strong — building the tooth up, not grinding it down — to prevent future breakage.
- With Biomimetic dentistry the goal is to eliminate the use of crowns or caps.
Biomimetic Dentistry Can Prevent the Need for Root Canal Treatment
Yes – this sounds too good to be true but biomimetic dentistry takes on a different approach when it comes to very large cavities that are too deep already.
Biomimetics, just the term itself, is basically studying the structure and function of a biological system, in this case a tooth, and using it as a model to design or engineer the materials that you would use to replace missing or diseased tooth structure.
During a root canal procedure, the inflamed or infected pulp, which is the soft, center area of the tooth, is removed. After the inside of the tooth has been cleaned and disinfected, it is filled and sealed with rubbery material known as gutta percha. In the last stage, a crown is usually placed on the tooth for protection.
When a dentist uses biomimetic techniques, what happens is that the dentist also carefully removes and cleans decay up until it reaches the nerve of the tooth – and then he stops. In a way, a little bit of decay is left and as long as the patient is asymptomatic (there is no pain), the nerve is sealed.
The main difference between biomimetic techniques and a usual root canal procedure is that the dentist doesn’t kill the nerve of the tooth – making the tooth viable and “living” as opposed to killing the nerve of the tooth, in effect “killing” blood supply to the area necessitating for a crown. This is why crowns are needed – a tooth without blood supply essentially becomes brittle and would need protection.
Patients would usually ask “Isn’t it dangerous to leave a bit of decay in my tooth?” The answer would be no, as long as the decay is sealed off from the nerve where there is blood supply, it would not have access to blood to reproduce bacteria, thrive and breed more decay.
Biomimetic Dentistry is the Most Tooth Friendly Choice
Since biomimetic dentistry ensures that dentists keep teeth as natural as possible, it helps restore the tooth to its most natural state instead of breaking it down even further to build a new structure. Biomimetic techniques are often considered a modern and more cost-effective approach to patient-oriented dentistry that prioritizes the function of the tooth, rather than the strength of the restoration. “The whole goal is to make the tooth look like a tooth again, and not only look like a tooth, but to function and act like a tooth. That’s really the key difference.”
Dr. Reese practices biomimetic dentistry techniques like air abrasion technology and using biomimetic sealants. Dr. Reese strives to conserve the tooth structure with biocompatible materials and techniques that mimic what nature intended. This could help avoid procedures like root canals and the loss of dental tissue. These are all in part of his clinic’s goal of practicing biocompatible dentistry – helping you reach your wellness goals through optimum dental health.
Indianapolis Dentistry is located just north of Greenwood, Indiana in Southport, just five minutes south of I-465 on US 31 between I-65 and Highway 37. Call 317-882-0228 for an appointment now!