What is a Full-Mouth Reconstruction?
In the most general terms, a full-mouth reconstruction is performed any time restorative dental treatment is done on nearly every tooth in the mouth for the purpose of restoring the bite to a functional or cosmetic ideal. There are several different conditions that could lead an individual to need or want a full-mouth reconstruction. Some of those conditions include, but are not limited to, the following:
- A collapsed or over-closed bite due to severe wear on the teeth from years of clenching, grinding, or other habitual overuses of the teeth
- Uniform and intrinsic staining on every single tooth resulting from the use of tetracycline or other drugs during the ages of permanent tooth development
- Multiple teeth that are genetically missing, misshapen, or underdeveloped in some way
- Extreme damage to multiple teeth due to accident, injury, or historical episodes of drug abuse
- Other cosmetic concerns that cannot be fully addressed with orthodontics, whitening, or more limited restorative treatments
What kind of treatment is involved?
The treatment details of a full-mouth reconstruction vary widely for each individual patient. Some patients who have stable, functional bites may only need a phase of crown, bridge, and veneer work to complete the reconstruction. Other patients may need several phases of orthotic therapy and functional orthodontics prior to beginning any crown or bridge restorations in order to adjust to a new bite position and properly situate the teeth for ideal crown and bridge placement.
Depending on the individual patient’s clinical needs and cosmetic concerns, a full-mouth reconstruction (or partial reconstruction) could include any or all of the following treatments:
- Orthotic therapy
- Functional orthodontics utilizing removable appliances to expand the arches and upright teeth
- Accelerated braces, traditional braces, or clear aligners for final alignment before crown and bridge treatment begins
- Tooth whitening on individual teeth that may not need to be restored with a crown
- Implant placement
- Final crown, veneer, or bridge placement (generally included in every full-mouth reconstruction or partial reconstruction)
How long will treatment take?
The treatment time for a full-mouth reconstruction can be as short as 3-4 four months or take up to 2 years or longer. Straightforward cosmetic reconstructions tend to take less time, whereas more complicated functional restorations often take longer, depending on how many phases of treatment may be involved and how the patient responds to each phase.
Is a Full Reconstruction Necessary?
The only way to know if a full-mouth reconstruction is necessary to properly address your functional and cosmetic concerns about your teeth is to consult with a dentist or prosthodontist who offers both partial and full-mouth reconstructive services. Once your dentist or prosthodontist has had a chance to evaluate your clinical conditions and discuss your functional and cosmetic concerns, he or she can then present the possible treatment options that would be most suitable to meet your needs, up to and including a full reconstruction.
Deciding on Treatment
A full-mouth reconstruction can be a costly and time-consuming process. For patients who truly need them, the benefits are undeniable. However, we encourage you to gain as much information as possible about your clinical conditions and any proposed treatment options before you make your final decision.
Current patients of Dr. Rich are always welcome to call the office with general questions or to request an evaluation and consultation for more individualized information about a potential reconstructive treatment plan.
Prospective patients are also welcome to call and schedule an exam and consultation for the purposes of exploring reconstructive options with Dr. Rich, or for a second opinion. For more information on scheduling with Dr. Rich as a new patient or for a second opinion, please read Your First Appointment.
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