How does Biomimetic Dentistry differ from what is taught in Dental Schools?

How does Biomimetic Dentistry differ from what is taught in Dental Schools

In dental schools, the general philosophy is to fix a tooth with an emphasis on the long-term success of the restoration itself rather than the long-term survival of the tooth. That is, the stronger the restoration material is, then the better it is.

In this case, a well-made gold crown may outlast the tooth. But that comes at the cost of drilling away good, healthy tooth structure. This process not only weakens the remaining tooth, but it further traumatizes the nerve risking a greater chance of the nerve dying and needing root canal treatment. Here, the tooth is adapted to the material’s needs rather than the material to the needs of the tooth. Crowns can necessitate removal of as much as 60 to 75 percent of the tooth’s structure, and that’s not including the deficiency already left by tooth decay, fracture, or a previous filling.

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Compare this to an emphasis on the long-term survival of the tooth. In this situation, we preserve as much sound tooth structure as possible. We rebuild the tooth using adhesive dentistry techniques and materials that not only strengthen but also mimic or emulate the natural structure of a healthy tooth. In this way, the restoration fills the deficiency left by tooth decay, fracture, or a previous filling and also restores the tooth’s function.

Do you think the silver-mercury fillings (called amalgams) are consistent with this emphasis? No, they are not. Amalgams only fill the deficiency left by tooth decay or fracture and do not re-strengthen the tooth. This results in future cracks or a complete fracture of the tooth, and usually requires a crown to fix and strengthen the tooth again. This is the most common situation that I see, and yet it is still considered the standard of care in dentistry today.

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