The term biomimetic simply means to mimic nature. It is derived from two Greek words whereby “bio” means life and “mimesis” means to imitate. Biomimetics thus involves the study of biological structures and functions with the purpose of producing similar products for solving human problems. Materials formed through this technique are referred to as biomimetic materials. Humans have used the concept of biomimetics in various fields. One example is the study of birds as an inspiration for the construction of flying devices.
Biomimetic dentistry is a tooth conserving dentistry that uses modern technologies and dental materials to preserve teeth by mimicking the teeth structure and function. The teeth are not able to naturally repair on their own unlike other part of the body. Biomimetic dentistry thus aims to conserve and protect most of the tooth structure. Biomimetic materials are used to replace lost dental tissues as well as for regeneration of dental structures
The Aim of Biomimetics Dentistry
The main aim of biomimetic dentistry is to preserve and conserve tooth structure and restore it to the original function strength and esthetic. Conventional dentistry involves drilling and filing the tooth which may cause even more harm in the long run. The decayed teeth are restored with rigid materials without putting into considerations the biomechanics of the tooth. These may cause the tooth to crack leading to complications. With biomimetics dentistry, the fractured and decayed part is removed, and the tooth is restored using biomimetics materials. This makes the teeth strong and seals them from bacterial invasion.
History of Biomimetic Dentistry
The history of biomimetics dates back in the 1950s when an American biophysicist, Otto Schmitt, invented the concept. He was able to develop the Schmitt trigger by researching about the nerves in a squid and tried to invent a device which is a replica. In 1960 Jack Steel came up with a similar term ‘bionics’ which has a similar meaning to biomimetics. In 1969 Otto Schmitt used the term for the first time in a research paper. The term finally entered the Webster Dictionary in 1974 and was later popularized by a scientist called Janine Benyns in her book ‘Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature.
Biomimetic materials can be used for restoration and regenerative purposes. Restorative materials are used to fill up damaged and decayed teeth to their structure, functionality as well as strength. Such materials include glass ionomer cement, biodentine ceramics doxadents and bioactive glass, among others. Regenerative technologies enable the formation of new tissues and include stem cell therapy, pulp implantation, and the use of Endosequence Root repair materials.
Benefits of Biomimetic Dentistry
- Preserves tooth structure
Biomimetic techniques are all about conserving most of your teeth. Only the decay and damage is removed, and the biomimetic materials bonded to the natural tooth structure.
- Minimizes root canal
Through biomimetic dentistry your tooth will be sealed from bacteria invasion; hence there are fewer chances of needing a root canal.
- Uses advanced adhesion techniques
Biomimetic dentistry uses advanced adhesion techniques which give better long lasting results and prevents premature failures, saving your tooth structure for a long time.
- Ability to handle functional stress
The improved materials are non-shrinkable and strong hence can handle all functions.
The best dentistry is one that involves is minimally invasive procedures thus preventing further harm on the patient’s teeth. This is what biomimetic techniques are all about, and what Dr. Woods specializes in. For a free consultation, call 619-359-6569.