What Is Bioesthetic Dentistry?

Bioesthetic dentistry is a philosophy of restorative dentistry based on the model of health found in nature.  The parameters of Bioesthetics were established in 1978 by Dr. Robert Lee after a careful and thorough study of patients with no decay, no gum disease, and no problems with their bite or jaw joint.  After careful analysis, he determined a set of restorative guidelines that were likely to generate health and stability for the patient.

Because the shape and function of bioesthetic restorations are based on ideal natural systems, the restorations are more likely to look great, fit and feel right, and last a long time.  Following the natural model is helpful in the case of simple fillings and porcelain restorations, but it is especially helpful when restoring the entire dentition (chewing system) for patients with significant breakdown. Using bioesthetic principles to restore an entire chewing system is called Bioesthetic Rejuvenation.

Bioesthetic Rejuvenation: The bioesthetic process for addressing joint and bite problems.

Sometimes patients have so much wear and tear on their teeth or so many problems with their bite and joint that we essentially need to “start over.”  This is analogous to a complete home remodel or building a new structure.  The objective of this process is to recreate a healthy, balanced system that adheres to the strict parameters found in nature.

Step 1: Stabilize the joint

The first step in bioesthetic rejuvenation is to rehabilitate the joint.  Just as builders need a stable foundation before they can erect a new structure, bioesthetic dentists need a stable joint before they can design new teeth and dental restorations.  This is the most important part of recreating your healthy bite and chewing system.

When teeth first begin to break down, the jaw develops a series of shifts and slides in an attempt to bring the teeth together with even tooth contacts.  In the beginning, this is helpful.  But gradually, with increased wear on the teeth, the joint needs to shift more and more and ultimately develops inflammation, swelling, bone degeneration (called functional remodeling or degenerative joint disease), muscle splinting, and nerve activation.  Over time, this becomes a very destructive and painful pattern.  Click on this link to learn more: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eqbi7deCKO8

Before we can restore the teeth, we need to determine the position of the jaw joint when it is resting and comfortable.  This is achieved with a splint, called a MAGO, which

recreates the ideal bite pattern.  Then we can modify the splint as the joint heals and stops shifting in the socket.

Step 2: Create a bioesthetic plan

Once the healthy joint position is determined, we can devise a plan to restore the teeth to support this healthy position.  Using the analogy of building a home, this step is similar to an architectural drawing.  A bioesthetic laboratory technician uses bioesthetic principles to design a plan in wax (or digitally) to bring all the teeth together ideally and to function ideally when chewing, speaking, and swallowing.

Step 3: Execute the plan

Once the plan is devised and agreed upon, the dentistry can be delivered in any number of ways.  Some patients require only minor modifications to the teeth, either smoothing down high spots or adding a small amount of composite to restore worn teeth.  Others require orthodontia and surgery in addition to multiple restorations.  Still other patients opt for temporary or direct composite restorations, then replace these with custom laboratory-fabricated restorations over time.

Benefits of Bioesthetic Rejuvenation

A Bioesthetic Rejuvenation goes well beyond a “cosmetic smile design” or any other cosmetic endeavor.  Because Bioesthetics takes into consideration the comfort and stability of the joint, its results transcend the appearance of the smile and have a profound effect on the appearance of the entire face, as well as the function of the chewing system and the comfort of the joint, head, and neck.  Again to use the analogy of construction: a cosmetic smile makeover is similar to refacing kitchen cabinets, whereas a Bioesthetic rejuvenation is similar to a full kitchen remodel.

Here are some of the potential benefits of a Bioesthetic Rejuvenation:

  • Elimination of TMJ pain and dysfunction
  • Reduction or elimination of migraines and stress headaches
  • Reduction in the size of the chewing muscles for a more slender jaw line
  • Improved comfort of facial muscles and reduction or elimination of chronic muscle pain in the head and neck
  • Improved neck position and correction of forward head posture
  • Widened airway due to elimination of forward head posture
  • Wider and more open eyes (due to relaxation of facial nerve and muscles)
  • Wider and more comfortable smile (due to relaxation of facial nerve and muscles)
  • Better articulation and speech
  • Improved biting and chewing function
  • A beautiful, natural smile!