What is Biomimetic Dentistry?

Biomimetic dentistry is known as the art and science of restoring damaged teeth that mimics our natural teeth in all forms — strength, appearance, and function. When translated, biomimetic literally means “to copy what is life-like.” Just as nature has provided us with the most ideal and successful properties to our natural teeth, the goal when restoring damaged teeth is to return the tooth to its original aesthetics, function, and strength without taking away from its natural structure. 

A Brief History in Biomimetic Dentistry

Since it was first used in 1949, there has been a tremendous amount of research and training that has been applied to providing biomimetic dentistry and adhesive dental techniques. It has also since evolved and this subject has been included in an overwhelming amount of publications. There have been very few individuals that dedicated the time and energy to keep up with all the scientific advances that come with this process, and only the most advanced and prestigious dental schools, including the University of Southern California, have incorporated these innovative techniques into their teaching. 

Your Biomimetic Dentist in Knoxville 

Dr. Jim Erpenbach is the premier biomimetic dentist in Tennessee. Having spent his childhood in Knoxville, he earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Tennessee Knoxville and his Doctor of Dental Surgery from the University of Tennessee Memphis in 1982. He has practiced dentistry for over 35 years and averages between 120 to 150 hours every year in further education that focuses on teeth-conserving biomimetic dentistry. Dr. Erpenbach strongly believes that education never stops and that it’s important to always be up-to-date on scientific-based care for his patients. 

As such, he is committed to training and learning more about biomimetic dentistry. Through his studies, he was able to determine that with biomimetic dentistry, we are able to:

  • Conserve as much of the tooth structure as possible 
  • Preserve tooth vitality and prevent unnecessary root canals 
  • Restore teeth which would otherwise need an extraction
  • Increase the bond strength of our restorations by 400% 
  • Minimize shrinkage stress on the teeth 
  • Eliminate sensitivity 
  • Create long-lasting restorations which prevent complications experience with traditional approaches 

What We Can Achieve With Biomimetic Dentistry

The chart above shows that the bond we can achieve with biomimetic dentistry versus traditional approaches has a 400% increase in strength and is critical for success. With this, we are able to bond restorations to the teeth with the same strength that natural enamel is bonded to dentin. This maximum bond strength allows dentists to restore badly damaged teeth to almost their original strength. The maximum bond strength also means that restorations have less chipping and fractures, last longer, and result in teeth that are resistant to catastrophic failures. 

For example, consider a traditional crown preparation — 75% of the tooth is removed in order to place a restoration; this complicates the long-term success for the tooth. In contrast, when a patient presents a structurally compromised tooth, we will be able to save the remaining intact tooth structure and provide an amazing biomimetic restoration. If a crown were prepared on such a damaged tooth, it would have almost nothing left and a root canal would be almost guaranteed. To ensure that you get the most out of your natural set of teeth, look for Dr. Erpenbach, your biomimetics dentist in Knoxville. 

Conclusion

In the end, Biomimetics is clearly the best path to take for the world of dentistry in the future. Many can stand to benefit from it and will save so much time, money, and effort, as we can simply go on with our lives after a visit from our dentist. So head over to Dr. Jim Erpenbach’s office to get your biomimetic treatment. By mimicking how the original tooth used to be, it will feel as though nothing has changed and you can still retain a stunning, and beautiful smile.