Reconstructive dentistry refers to the set of procedures designed to repair damaged teeth, address jawbone and gum damage, correct improperly seated jaw joins and faulty bites, replace missing teeth, repair damaged teeth, replace worn-out dental work, and in some cases, treat disease of the mouth. Each of these procedures may be performed independently, but when multiple problems exist, full mouth reconstruction may be the answer.
This can include any combination of the following things:
- Implant dentistry – replication of the missing tooth, from root to crown, using dental implants
- Restorative dental treatments – fillings, bridges, crowns, inlays, and onlays
- Orthodontics – traditional metal braces, Invisalign, spacers, expanders, and permanent or removable retainers
- Oral surgery – tooth extractions, root canal therapy, and soft and hard tissue grafting
- Cosmetic dentistry – teeth whitening, dental bonding, gum re-contouring, and porcelain veneers
- Bruxism treatments – therapy to resolve teeth grinding and associated symptoms
- Periodontal treatments – root planing, scaling, and periodontal surgery
- Neuromuscular dentistry/TMD treatment – corrects problems involving the temporomandibular joints (TMJs) and the bite
Full mouth reconstruction typically involves general or restorative dentists (performing procedures like bridges, crowns, and veneers), endodontists (specializing in the tooth pulp), oral surgeons, orthodontists (specializing in teeth movement and positioning), and periodontists (specializing in the gums).
The need for full mouth reconstruction may result from:
- Ongoing complaints of pain in the jaw, muscles, and headaches that require adjustments to the bite
- Teeth that have been injured or fractured
- Teeth have been lost due to decay or trauma
- Severely worn teeth from long-term acid erosion, or tooth grinding
Full Mouth Reconstruction vs. Smile Makeover
Full mouth reconstruction is different from a smile makeover. Full mouth reconstruction is something that you need, while a smile makeover is a procedure you elect to have performed.
The line between purely “cosmetic” (such as elective dentistry) and “restorative” (necessary) dentistry is becoming harder to draw as the makers of the dental materials respond to increasing demands to create materials for beautiful, natural-looking dentistry. For example, more and more dentists are using natural-tooth colored materials to fill in cavities or replace existing silver fillings. The materials that dentists use today for full mouth reconstruction make it possible to provide you with durable, functional, and clinically sound treatments that also look and feel natural.
Although smile makeovers are primarily performed to improve esthetic and appearance, they require the use of clinically proven treatment techniques and dental materials, as well as the expertise and knowledge of a skilled and trained dentist. To ensure the long-term success and stability of a smile makeover, many of the same techniques and equipment required for full mouth restoration are used.
If you feel like you may need full mouth reconstruction or are interested in a smile makeover, our skilled and knowledgeable staff can help. Come into our office and learn more about what we can do for you.