Combining the esthetics of cosmetic dentistry with the science of restorative dentistry, full mouth restorations may be an option for people with a number of dental issues. These issues can be corrected comprehensively, with a final result that improves both function and beauty.
What is a full mouth reconstruction?
In general, any any dental procedure that affects all the teeth in the mouth is called a full mouth reconstruction or full mouth rehabilitation. Full mouth reconstructions are designed to be a comprehensive solution to improve both function and esthetics. As the name implies, full mouth reconstruction refers to rebuilding and/or replacing all of the teeth in the mouth.
Who can benefit from a full mouth reconstruction?
Patients may desire a full mouth reconstruction for many reasons. People with multiple missing teeth, cracked or broken teeth, or teeth that are worn due to bruxism (teeth grinding) may be candidates for full mouth reconstruction. Likewise, patients who have had mismatched dentistry over the years, or have teeth with large fillings that are failing or showing signs of decay may benefit from full mouth reconstructions.
People with medical conditions such as Ectodermal Dysplasia, Ameliogenesis, Dentinogenisis Imperfecta may also benefit from a full mouth reconstruction. Some treatment options for patients with oral cancer may include a unique type of full mouth reconstruction that not only involves the replacement of missing teeth, but restoration of missing structures of the oral cavity.
What are the options for a full mouth reconstruction?
Treatment options for a full mouth reconstruction will not only provide a “smile makeover,” but will improve bite and chewing efficiency for the patient. Treatment options may include the following:
Dental veneers are thin pieces of porcelain that are attached to the tooth’s original enamel. They are designed to match the color of other existing teeth and mimic the strength and resilience of a natural tooth. Veneers are typically used to cosmetically enhance the look of the teeth.
An onlay is a restoration, often made of porcelain, that replaces a cusp or cusps of a tooth. It is bonded into place by the dentist. An onlay is a more conservative (or tooth structure saving) restoration than a full crown. Onlays may be recommended if the tooth has a significant portion that is still healthy.
A crown is a cover or “cap” that is put on the tooth to restore its original size and function. A crown may be recommended for a tooth that has a cavity that is too large to be fixed by an onlay.
A bridge may be used to literally bridge the gap created by missing teeth. A bridge is made up of two or more crowns fitted over existing teeth with a false tooth or teeth, called pontics, in-between.
Dental implants are titanium posts (similar in size and shape to a screw) that are surgically placed into the jaw, where they serve as an anchor for replacement teeth. The bone around the implant heals through a process called osseointegration, where the bone actually grows around the implant to hold it in place. A crown or denture is then fitted to attach to the implant.
Dentures are removable appliances designed to replace several missing teeth. Traditional dentures are secured directly to the patients’ gum with adhesive. Implant-supported dentures are secured by connecting to a dental implant in the patient’s jaw bone.
No matter your reason for considering the comprehensive solution of a full mouth restoration, be sure to talk to your dentist about all of the risks and benefits of your particular situation. Schedule an appointment today to talk to someone about your needs.