WHAT IS FULL MOUTH RECONSTRUCTION?
Full mouth reconstruction is a broad term used to describe the process of rehabilitating a patient’s entire set of teeth—while carefully considering their smile, bite, facial support, and jaw joints. It is also known as full mouth rehabilitation or full mouth restoration. It is carried out by a prosthodontist, who has three years of training beyond dental school specifically in this type of treatment. The key is that the entire system of the mouth and oral structures is considered, taking into account chewing, speech, smiling, joint health, and longevity of the result.
Most commonly, patients undergoing full mouth reconstruction have worn down many or all of their teeth due to grinding (technical term: “bruxing”), acid reflux (GERD), an acidic diet, or often a combination of these. These same patients may have, in the past, had cracked or broken teeth treated with crowns. While those crowns did serve to save those individual teeth, they were performed with a single-tooth approach. That is, they were made to fit the existing space and bite. Repeated multiple times, this can actually lead to a more “closed” bite over time—with what appears to be a shrinking of the face from nose to chin. This artificial aging of the patient has significant oral health consequences beyond the esthetic facial support changes.
Full mouth reconstruction can be completed on natural teeth, implants, or often with a combination. Patients requiring reconstruction have often lost one or more teeth in the past, and implants can be added to fill these spaces—with the new crowns and implant crowns all fabricated to work in harmony and match perfectly.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF FULL MOUTH RECONSTRUCTION?
The benefits vary based on each individual patient’s situation, but often include: