The main goal of a full mouth reconstruction is to restore health and function to the patient’s teeth and mouth. The improved esthetic of the person’s smile is just another positive side effect of the treatment.
Most dentists focus their efforts on functionality when performing a full mouth reconstruction, which is why it is important to review the problems that can be addressed by a dentist.
How a dentist clears a patient for full mouth reconstruction
A candidate for a full mouth reconstruction is one who has multiple oral health issues that affect most or all their teeth. A full mouth reconstruction is resource-intensive; in terms of time, energy and finances. A dentist will only clear the patient for this aggressive course of treatment if they check one or more of the following boxes:
- Multiple teeth with loose or damaged restorations
- Cavities and tooth decay in multiple teeth
- Chipped, fractured or broken teeth
- Worn teeth; usually as a result of teeth grinding
- A bad bite that affects how the patient bites down and breathe
- Mild, moderate or severe gum infection
- Jaw disorders
A general dentist will form a diagnosis and craft a custom treatment plan to begin the full mouth reconstruction. To restore full function to the mouth, the dentist may prioritize procedures that address the following:
1. Cavities, advanced tooth decay and worn restorations
Ultimately, tooth decay causes pain and sensitivity, which makes it hard for a patient to eat. Foods that are too hot, cold, acidic or sugary all trigger painful sensation in teeth that have a breach in the enamel.
Tooth decay, worn restorations or injury also compromise the structure of the teeth. As a result, a patient will be unable to put pressure on affected teeth. This causes the person to favor the damaged teeth, which causes difficulty in chewing or biting. In time, the strain of eating with damaged teeth may cause a jaw disorder.
To correct such problems, a dentist will use dental restorations like direct fillings, onlays, overlays, inlays or crowns. In extreme cases, the dentist may extract teeth that are too far gone, leaving gaps. The dentist would then proceed to the second phase of the full mouth reconstruction process.
2. Gapped teeth that make eating difficult
A gapped smile can result from missing teeth or too much space between individual teeth. The excess spacing puts the exposed gums at risk of injury when a person chews something as harmless as a crisp apple or a steak.
During a full mouth reconstruction, the dentist will correct a gapped smile with orthodontics or with tooth replacement methods like dental implants, bridges or dentures.
3. A bad bite that triggers teeth grinding and other problems
A bad bite can make it hard for a patient to maintain good oral hygiene, bite down or chew. It could also lead to jaw disorders like teeth grinding and jaw pain.
To restore full function to the mouth, a dentist will craft a full mouth reconstruction plan that includes orthodontic treatment. For patients with jaw malformations, the dentist may recommend corrective jaw surgery.
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