Full Mouth Reconstruction
While making sure you have the proper oral hygiene routines is crucial to taking good care of your existing teeth, there are certain circumstances where the underlying teeth themselves need serious dental reconstruction or replacement to be usable again. Things like advanced dental decay, gingivitis, chipped or cavity-filled teeth, and infected or impacted teeth can make getting your best smile difficult and can even cause you daily pain and frustration. This is where full mouth reconstruction comes in. Making sure that you have functional, beautiful teeth is an important part of making sure you get the most out of your smile, which is why it’s important to invest in your overall dental health. Things like dental veneers, implants, and dental bridges can help repair and strengthen your existing teeth in cases of decay or dental damage. They can also help fix things like severe staining, chipping, enamel damage, and other surface-level dental issues that may cause you discomfort.
While your dentist’s first concern is to preserve your natural teeth, in some cases, the remaining tooth is too far gone to save. This is where things like dental implants and bridges come into play, so you can still have the same level of use as your natural teeth without any of the complications or pain that comes from infected or impacted teeth. Combining dental veneers, dental crowns, implants, and bridges to help reconstruct your entire smile, you can have the smile of your dreams in little to no time, all while ensuring you get the best out of your dental health possible.
But what is full mouth dental reconstruction, and how does it help repair and replace your existing teeth, all while giving you a perfect, healthy smile?
What is Full Mouth Reconstruction?
Full mouth reconstruction is an umbrella term for a large number of dental procedures that can help replace and restore your missing or damaged teeth. Able to repair anything from surface level stains to infected and cracked teeth, a full mouth reconstruction is usually recommended in cases where it is possible to salvage most of a patient’s natural teeth. Full mouth reconstruction usually does not end in a full dental set replacement except for in extreme cases where none of the underlying teeth will remain. By using surface level repairs, including crowns and veneers, as well as more intensive dental procedures such as dental implants, your dentist can gradually reconstruct your entire smile so that you have a fully functional dental set.
The ultimate draw to this replacement process is that, for the most part, it can operate off of your underlying dental structure, and is less invasive than the all-on-4 dental program, which requires the removal of all remaining teeth before installation can begin. For the most part, your dentist will strive to protect and care for your existing teeth while making sure to care for any potential complications. Things like chipped or cracked teeth are usually filled and capped to prevent infection or strengthened with external veneers that can correct enamel wear and discoloration by replacing the outer layer of your tooth with a porcelain or ceramic substance.
Each full mouth replacement process is slightly different than the rest, as the overall end goal depends on the state of each patient’s natural teeth. This means that your experience with the full mouth replacement process may not line up exactly with the general outline below. Your dentist will work closely with you to help develop the overall dental treatment process that is best for you and will be happy to answer any questions that you may have about the process before going forwards.
Denture-wearers are often plagued by ill-fitting, loose dentures, sores and a lack of confidence when eating, speaking or smiling. Luckily, dental implants offer a more permanent solution for restoring damaged teeth or replacing missing teeth.
Dentures can have a negative effect on your quality of life. Loose dentures that will not stay in place cause difficulty when speaking or enjoying one’s favorite foods. Ill-fitting dentures can cause painful sores that further impair speech and functioning and embarrass the denture wearer.
The professional staff at Winterset Dental understands the difficulties of traditional dentures and is committed to providing a more permanent, natural-feeling, attractive and cost effective solution. Dental implants are an excellent alternative to dentures for full mouth replacement.
What is the Full Mouth Reconstruction Process?
First, your dentist will meet with you to discuss the full mouth restoration process that works best for you. In cases of severe dental decay or enamel wear, veneers and implants may help strengthen and support your remaining teeth, while still replacing any extracted teeth and preventing overly damaged teeth from becoming even more damaged in the future. Things like dental bridges, dental crowns, and even partial set replacements may be needed to fill in areas of your smile that need additional attention. Your dentist may also implement other orthodontic programs, such as jaw reconstruction and intensive gumline care, to best suit your unique dental needs. These processes should be carried out gradually, allowing time to heal between each step, so you can confidently move towards your ideal smile.
Next, your dentist will set up appointments to lay the groundwork for future visits, including x-rays, technical visits, molds, and other steps to allow them to create a roadmap for your perfect smile. Any extractions or cavity fillings that you need will usually be done during this timeline, to allow you the longest possible time to heal. After this, your dentist will initiate the longer portions of your full mouth reconstruction treatment, such as dental implants, which are small metal anchors that attach to your jawbone to provide support to a dental veneer or crown. These crowns act as replacements for your natural teeth and can also function as an anchor point for other dental replacements, such as dental bridges. After the more intensive dental processes have had a chance to heal, your dentist will move on to more aesthetic treatments, such as external veneers, which require the replacement of the outer layer of your enamel. This process can leave your mouth very sensitivity, so it is important to talk with your dentist about the right aftercare treatments to help you heal without issue.
So what does the timeline for a full mouth reconstruction procedure look like, and what are some of the potential complications that can happen along the way?
What Does the Full Mouth Reconstruction Timeline Usually Look Like?
Each patient’s full mouth reconstruction timeline looks slightly different, as each patient has their own unique dental challenges and needs that should be addressed before moving forward. Things like dental implants and dental extractions can take anywhere from 2 to 4 weeks to fully heal, as the actual jawbone needs to regrow slightly to support the changes properly. Other dental processes, such as veneers, take only one day to complete and result only in minor discomfort for under 24 to 48 hours. After this, you can return to your daily activities without a problem.
Depending on the level of reconstruction needed, your full mouth reconstruction can take anywhere from two to six months, with more time allowed for complications such as infection or a large number of cavities. Since your dentist must create your treatment plan including replacement crowns, veneers, and bridges, the entire treatment process could take upwards of a year. In patients with bone growth issues or who have a history of infections and gum disease, your dentist may space our the entire treatment process to ensure the proper amount of healing time between procedures. In some cases, your dentist may recommend gradually incorporating aspects of the treatment process to allow your body to adjust, as things like dental implants have the possibility of being rejected from the body, leading to a longer healing process and future complications.
So what does the recovery process for a full mouth reconstruction look like?
“I am always complimented about my smile, my wife’s friends always say: ‘boy your husband has great teeth.’ Its been wonderful for me. ”
What Is Full Mouth Reconstruction Recovery Like?
For veneers, crowns, and cavity fillings, the recovery process is usually minimal. Patients who have had veneers applied should avoid incredibly cold or hot foods, as the numbing process may make them insensitive to potential damages to their gum line. For crowns, avoiding extremely sticky or hard foods can help ensure that the dental cement used to attach the crown is given enough time to cure. For cavity fillings, the tooth or teeth that have been filled may be sensitive for a few days after your treatment, so make sure to avoid directly chewing on the surface of a filled tooth for at least 24 hours. You may experience some sensitivity for up to two weeks after the procedure, but this is normal.
For more intense dental treatments, such as dental implants, the recovery process is split into stages. First, any extractions that have been made are allowed to heal for at least two to four weeks to ensure the jawbone has time to grow back. During this time period, you can use a salt rinse to help speed the healing process. Next, a small hole is drilled into the bone of the jaw and a metal implant is inserted. This implant should be allowed to heal for two to four weeks. In that time, avoid chewing directly on the implant and make sure to clean the area gently with a water pick, making sure to avoid leaving chewed food in the area. After the implant has successfully healed, your dentist will install the dental crown. While it may take a couple of days for your mouth to adjust to the feeling of the crown itself, you should be able to use it like a normal tooth. As always, make sure to gently brush and floss your new teeth, taking special care to prevent food from getting dislodged under your crown or dental bridge.
Dental implants are inserted directly into the jawbone, ensuring a perfect fit and eliminating the problems associated with ill-fitting dentures. Each dental implant is individually designed to fit your mouth, making it easy to once again enjoy dining and speaking without slippage or clicking. While many people opt for dentures for their tooth replacement needs, dentures simply replace the visible portion of your missing teeth without addressing their roots. Dental implants can actually improve your oral health because they replace the roots of your teeth. This makes for a permanent, healthy option that will keep your smile look and feeling natural.
Additionally, dental implants can also improve bone health because they are fully integrated with the jaw, reducing the risk of bone deterioration. The bone loss associated with dentures can lead to a sunken appearance and an unattractive smile. Dental implants eliminate this problem, resulting in a natural appearance and smile that you will want to show off.
If you are looking to get your dream smile, contact our office in Orland Park, Illinois. Here at Winterset Dental, we pride ourselves on helping you get the best out of your dental care, and would be happy to help you set up an appointment to find out if a full mouth replacement plan is right for you.