A full mouth reconstruction is a set of treatments or dental procedures that are required to rebuild all of the teeth in both the upper and lower jaws. In some cases, a full mouth reconstruction may also require reshaping some of the bone structure in your jaw as well. This will require a combination of dental treatments and restorations.
In most cases, a full mouth reconstruction will be performed by a general dentist who will place dental restorations such as porcelain veneers, dental bridges, or dental crowns. The general dentist will work with specialists such as an oral surgeon, orthodontist, and periodontist to perform more specialized treatments as necessary during the full mouth reconstruction.
Why are full mouth reconstructions considered?
A patient or dentist may consider a full mouth reconstruction when a number of dental procedures are needed to ensure good dental and oral health. Generally, it is used for dental conditions such as:
- Teeth that are missing due to trauma or decay
- Teeth that have become cracked, chipped, fractured, or injured in some way
- Acid erosion due to the consumption of acidic foods or beverages, or acid reflux
- Teeth that have become worn down due to conditions such as bruxism (tooth grinding)
- Jaw pain, muscles aches, or recurring headaches that are caused by an incorrect bite or problems in the TMJ
Beginning the Full Mouth Reconstruction Process
Our dentist will perform a thorough examination of your teeth, gums, and bone structure to identify any and all dental and oral health problems you may be experiencing. Based on this, a treatment plan will be created to fit your individual needs. Our dentist will pay close attention to the condition of your:
- Teeth – the dentist will examine your teeth and look for any issues that may require dental restorations such as dental crowns, dental bonding, inlays/onlays, porcelain veneers or dental bridges and dental implants. These issues may include tooth decay, broken or fractured teeth, tooth abscesses, loose teeth, and unusually worn teeth.
- Gums – when checking your gums, our dentist will look for signs of periodontal disease. For many patients, this can be easily treated with simple scaling and root planing. More severe cases may require the services of a periodontist. If your gums are not healthy, any reconstructions or restorations that are placed may fail. In cases where gum loss has occurred, a soft tissue graft may be required.
- Bite issues – your bite needs to be pain-free and stable in order for your teeth, gums, and bone to remain healthy. You should not experience any unusual wear and tear on your teeth, and your bite should feel comfortable with no jaw clenching or teeth grinding. If you do have bite issues, our dentist may recommend bite reprogramming, orthodontics, or other corrective procedures.
- Aesthetics – our dentist will take into account the physical appearance of your smile, including whether or not your teeth are correctly shaped and sized, as well as their proportion. The way your jaw bone and teeth affect your facial appearance will also be considered when developing your facial reconstruction treatment plan.
In order to ensure the examination covers every aspect of your teeth, jaw, and face, our dentist will take photographs, CT scans, x-rays, and impressions of your teeth. All of these things will be used to create a model of your bite and teeth. Your dentist will be able to show you a contrasting model of what your bite and facial appearance may look like following your full mouth reconstruction as well.
Once all of the information has been gathered, our dentist will develop a unique treatment plan that is fully customized to your needs and preferences. If you have any questions, our dentist will be able to provide you with a written description of each of the procedures outlined in your treatment plan for you to review.
What Procedures Are Needed for Full Mouth Restoration?
The procedures required for your full mouth reconstruction will vary depending on your individual case and specific dental issues. In most patients, a full mouth reconstruction will require several visits to our office for treatments and restorations. In many patients, the entire process from consultation to completion can take up to a year or more. Procedures often included in a full mouth reconstruction are:
- Deep cleaning the teeth and gums in each quadrant of the mouth.
- Dental bonding to lengthen or build up the teeth in order to provide a healthy, sound tooth structure to support restorations such as dental crowns and bridges.
- Oral surgery to reposition the jaw.
- Gum contouring to improve the overall appearance of your smile.
- Removing a small portion of tooth enamel in order to prepare the teeth for restorations such as bridges, crowns, or dental veneers.
- Temporary restorations that will allow you to adjust to the look and feel of your new teeth and bite.
- Proper placement of your permanent restorations.
- Orthodontics in order to properly align your teeth.
- Dental implants, partial dentures, or bridges to replace missing teeth.
- Soft tissue or bone grafts to improve the stability of your teeth and restorations.
Full Mouth Reconstruction vs. Smile Makeover
Unlike a smile makeover, a full mouth reconstruction is are not purely cosmetic. Smile makeovers tend to involve more simple procedures and dental restorations that are performed for purely aesthetic reasons. In contrast, a full mouth reconstruction consists of procedures necessary to ensure your dental and oral health. While a full mouth reconstruction may be cosmetic as well, that is not it’s express purpose. Because today’s dental materials more naturally match the color and appearance of your natural teeth, your smile’s appearance will often improve following a full mouth reconstruction.