What is Full Mouth Reconstruction?
Full mouth reconstruction, or full mouth restoration, is the process of replacing all the teeth in your mouth, or many at a time on both the upper and lower rows. Full mouth reconstruction can involve many cosmetic dentistry services, as well as oral surgery and laser surgery. What procedures are done all depends on the patient and the extent of damage to the teeth or mouth.
Reasons for a Full Mouth Reconstruction
There can be many reasons that people will have full mouth reconstruction:
- Poor oral health
- Many lost teeth due to poor health or trauma
- Fractured or cracked teeth
- Teeth that are eroded from teeth grinding
- Occlusion therapy – having to makeover the mouth to relieve jaw pain
Benefits of Full Mouth Restoration
Full mouth restoration has very specific benefits and some larger overall benefits. If you have gum disease, excessive decay, and the like, your breath will be bad. Your gums may bleed regularly. Infections and bacteria can also spread to other areas of the body. Pulling decayed teeth, addressing gum disease, and removing tartar that has moved below the gum line will improve your breath and make oral hygiene easier.
In a functional sense, reconstruction will fix an improperly aligned bite. That bad bite could be giving you the symptoms of TMJ, with chronic pain radiating into your neck and shoulders. It could be causing migraines, jaw locking, and other issues. Replacing missing teeth will balance the way your mouth chews food and will allow you to once again eat foods you’ve been avoiding. Having a full mouth of teeth can improve your speech. Fixing cracked teeth, performing root canals on infected teeth, addressing gum disease — all of these functional changes will also remove the pain you’ve been experiencing.
Beyond functionality, having a great new smile can change your whole outlook. You’ll be more confident smiling and showing your teeth, instead of being worried about hiding your flawed smile. Your bad breath will be eliminated or thoroughly improved. Removal of chronic pain can make you feel like a new person.
Full Mouth Reconstruction Procedures
There are a wide range of procedures included when it comes to mouth restoration or rehabilitation. Many of the most popular services at Dr. Barney’s office include:
- Crown Lengthening – This procedure involves lengthening the top part of the tooth – the crown – to expose healthier tooth, or decrease the amount of gum showing when smiling. It can involve placing dental crowns over the area to protect it and make it appear more appealing.
- Jaw Repositioning: This procedure is most often done for people suffering from painful symptoms of Temporomandibular Joint problems, or TMJ. It involves using special device called a TENS to relax the jaw into a more comfortable position.
- Porcelain Veneers: Porcelain veneers are a sort of covering for your teeth. Made of porcelain, they give a natural and clean look, and if your teeth are generally healthy, but discolored or cracked, they are a great alternative to implants.
- Dental Implants: Sometimes all teeth may need to be replaced, or just a few. Implants are a great alternative to dentures, putting individual false teeth into the supportive tooth tissue in the jawbone, to actually replace teeth permanently.
Full Mouth Reconstruction Before and After
How Long is the Full Mouth Reconstruction Procedure?
The time to complete a full mouth reconstruction with Dr. Barney is wholly dependent upon exactly what procedures you are having done, along with your individual recovery rate. We often break a full mouth reconstruction into separate phases. This allows the patient to fully recover from the procedures addressed in that particular phase before moving onto the next phase. For instance, your oral surgery needs may be a single phase. You may need extractions, bone or gum grafting, and other surgeries, and they will require recovery time.
Implants are another possible phase. Once the implant is placed into the hole occupied formerly by the tooth root, the jawbone needs to grow around the implant, a process called osseointegration. This process takes from three to six months, depending on the health of your jawbone. So, it’s really not even worth making a generality of the time needed for a full mouth reconstruction. It’s better to think of it as an ongoing work in progress, with the end goal being a healthy, beautiful smile and much better quality of life. Once Dr. Barney sees your individual situation, we can give you a better idea of how long the entire process will take.
Do I Qualify for a Full Mouth Reconstruction?
Full mouth reconstruction isn’t only for cosmetic reasons. Having missing or broken teeth, jaw problems and / or gum problems can make life very difficult for many people. That’s why it is important to distinguish full mouth reconstructive procedures from the well-known ‘smile makeover’. Although Dr. Barney also offers smile makeovers to his patients and they involve many of the same procedures, they are purely cosmetic. Full mouth restoration is the term used when the surgeries and procedures are necessary due to poor oral health or trauma. This distinction is important to make, especially for insurance reasons.
When you have been through a trauma or accident, or have been experiencing excessive tooth loss or cracking due to periodontal disease, you will qualify for the reconstruction. The best way to know is to book an appointment with Dr. Barney to discuss your motivations for wanting the procedure.
When Should I Consider Treatment?
There is absolutely no time frame for how long you must wait. However, if you want to return to your best quality of life afterwards, it is always best to get it done as soon as you can, even though at times it can seem daunting. Dr. Barney’s office utilizes the latest in laser and neuromuscular technology to make your experience as comfortable as possible.
Risks of Full Mouth Restoration
Since full mouth reconstruction requires various surgeries, there is always the risk of infection afterwards. But this is manageable. Patients with heart problems or autoimmune diseases are at a higher risk, as they are with any use of anesthetics. Recovery rate is something to consider. If a patient is over 70, his or her jawbone won’t grow and accept dental implants as quickly as a young person. Maybe mini implants could be a better solution. Older patients also have more risk with possible infections and the like. Overall, the benefits of full mouth reconstruction far outweigh any possible risk.
Schedule a Consultation
If you are interested in learning more about full mouth reconstruction, and would like to see if you are a good candidate, call (304) 754-8803 to schedule a consultation at our office in Hedgesville, WV.