There isn't in fact a specific dental service called full-mouth reconstruction, and yet full-mouth reconstruction is offered by many dentists. The process refers to multiple procedures that have the cumulative effect of reconstructing a patient's bite. What does it mean when your dentist tells you that you require a full-mouth reconstruction?
Multiple Dental Issues
Your dentist will refer to your treatment as a full-mouth reconstruction when you have multiple dental issues that require a combination of treatment methods. You might have several missing teeth, many remaining natural teeth in an advanced state of deterioration (including cavities and loss of the tooth's structure), misaligned teeth, and advanced gum disease that has resulted in the loss of gingival tissues. The treatment methods utilized in your reconstruction will depend on the specific nature of your dental issues. As such, you might require:
- The replacement of missing teeth with dental implants or a fixed dental bridge.
- Teeth with an infected pulp might require a root canal, followed by reconstruction of the tooth (involving a filling and a dental crown).
- Deteriorated teeth where the dental pulp has remained vital and healthy will be reconstructed, usually with dental composite resin or a dental crown.
- Teeth that have lost some of their vertical structure (worn down) may require an onlay or inlay (similar to a partial dental crown) to restore their lost height.
- Teeth that are otherwise healthy will need a scaling and root planing to remove accumulated plaque and tartar, helping you to combat gingivitis and other forms of periodontal disease.
- Lost gingival tissue that has exposed the roots of a tooth might need to be replaced, and this can involve soft tissue grafting.
This is not a comprehensive list. Essentially any form of treatment that can be combined with others in order to restore a patient's teeth can be included as part of a full-mouth reconstruction service.
Extensive Dental Needs
It's undoubtedly distressing when you learn that your dental needs are quite extensive, but remember that the matter has now become urgent. Your level of dental deterioration has become so severe that this comprehensive treatment combination is now needed to save you from total tooth loss.
Treatment Time Frame
When you and your dentist (and their team) embark upon a full-mouth reconstruction, it can be helpful to have an idea of the approximate treatment time frame. It's not as though you will walk out of the dental clinic later that day with a totally reconstructed smile. Your treatment will happen in stages, prioritized and staggered, to allow necessary recovery time between them. You should ask how long the overall process will take. Depending on your specific needs, it will be at least several months, but more intensive reconstructions may not be completed for more than a year.
Yes, full-mouth reconstruction is a commitment. However, this commitment will result in you having a set of teeth that ticks all the boxes in terms of appearance and functionality. And it's probably been some years since you've been able to think of your teeth in that way. Contact a full-mouth restoration clinic, such as Comprehensive Dental Care, to learn more.