As you can probably imagine, full-mouth reconstruction is as its name suggests, a complete reconstruction of the mouth which usually involves rebuilding or restoring all of the teeth in both the upper and lower jaws. Full-mouth reconstruction often requires the support of dental specialists including orthodontists, oral surgeons, periodontists, and endodontists, as well as your regular dentist.
Reasons for full-mouth reconstruction
Full-mouth reconstruction may be recommended for a variety of reasons, including, but not limited to:
- Teeth that have been fractured or damaged as a result of an accident
- Teeth which have been lost due to severe decay or trauma
- Teeth which have become extremely eroded due to long-term problems with acid reflux or tooth grinding
- Persistent jaw, muscle, ear, and head pain which means that your bite needs to be adjusted
Determining the need for full-mouth reconstruction
In determining whether a full-mouth reconstruction is right for you, your dentist will conduct a series of thorough examinations. This will help him/her to understand the extent of the work that needs to be carried out and identify which treatment option will be the most suitable and effective to make the necessary corrections. These may involve x-rays, photographs, and impressions as well as regular physical examinations. These will likely include:
Your temporomandibular joint (TMJ), jaw muscles, and bite (occlusion)
The way you bite can have a dramatic effect on the wear and tear of your jaw muscles and teeth. In some cases, it will be necessary for you to be referred to an orthodontist to correct your bite before any other reconstructive work can take place.
Periodontal (gum) health
Healthy gums are vitally important for good oral health. If you go into reconstructive procedures with unhealthy gums you will likely be required to have treatment to restore your gums to full health before any other reconstructive treatment can occur. This is to ensure that your new teeth will have a good, solid foundation so that they have the maximum longevity possible.
The health of your teeth
Unsurprisingly your teeth will be a large focus of reconstruction examinations too. Their condition will help your dentist to determine the extent of work that will need to be carried out, such as crowns, bridges, fillings, and implants.
The appearance of your teeth
The color, shape, size, and overall appearance of your teeth will also be taken into account, so that your reconstruction is created to look completely natural in relation to your other facial features, such as the size of your mouth and the shape of your face.
What procedures are needed in a full-mouth restoration?
Every reconstruction is different and based on the unique needs of each patient. This means that not all of the procedures listed here may be necessary or suitable for you. However, typical procedures involved in a full-mouth reconstruction usually include:
- Bone or soft tissue grafting to create a firm foundation for your dental work
- Contouring of the gums to create a balanced appearance
- Crown lengthening to create a healthy structure for crowns or bridges
- Implant placement
- Orthodontics to move your teeth into the correct place for reconstruction and correct problems with your bite
- Periodontal care
- Placement of temporary restorations while final versions are being prepared
- Placement of the permanent reconstructive features including crowns, bridges, veneers, and more
- Preparation of your natural teeth, ready to accept crowns, bridges, and more
- Teeth cleaning and aftercare
Obviously, not all of these procedures can be carried out at one time, and a full-mouth reconstruction process can involve multiple visits over a number of months, or even more than a year.