Full mouth reconstruction may also be known as full mouth restoration or full mouth rehabilitation. These terms describe the work of reconstructing or simultaneously restoring all of the teeth in both the upper and lower jaws.

One or more dental specialists may be called on to complete a full mouth reconstruction. Your general or restorative dentist is often required to perform procedures like veneers, crowns, and bridges. Periodontists who specialize in the gums, orthodontists who are experts in tooth movements and positions, endodontists who specialize in the tooth pulp, and oral surgeons may also be incorporated in the treatment.

These are some dental problems that require a full mouth reconstruction:

  • Missing teeth due to trauma or decay
  • Damaged or fractured teeth
  • Severely worn teeth caused by tooth grinding or acid erosion from foods, beverages, or acid reflux over time
  • Chronic jaw and muscle pain and headaches requiring adjustments to the bite.

Full Mouth Reconstruction Process

See your dentist if you are considering a full mouth reconstruction. He or she will conduct a comprehensive examination of your mouth to identify the extent of the problem and the options for treatment.

The condition of your teeth will be examined and your dentist will check for cavities and decay, cracks, tooth wear, tooth movement, root canal issues, and short or long teeth. The need for restorative options will be considered, such as inlays or onlays, veneers or full-coverage crowns, bridges, or implants.

Your periodontal or gum tissues will be examined for any disease, deep pockets, excessive or insufficient gum tissue, and irregularities in bone density. Treatments for your gums may include scaling and root planing. In addition, to ensure a firm foundation for your newly reconstructed teeth, a periodontist may perform soft tissue or bone grafts to reinforce your gums and underlying jaw bone.

The temporomandibular joints, jaw muscles, and occlusion will be inspected as well. Changes in the bite need to be taken into consideration when your dentist is formulating a treatment plan for your restorations. Sometimes orthodontic treatment is required before additional restorative procedures can be performed.

Esthetics are also an important consideration in planning a full mouth reconstruction. Your dentist will look at the shape, size, color, and proportion of your teeth, and additionally take into account your gums, mouth, lips, and face.

The examination process for a full mouth reconstruction uses X-rays and photographs of your mouth, models that are made from impressions of your upper and lower teeth, and a model of your occlusion. You may also be referred to other dental specialists, such as an orthodontist, periodontist, or oral surgeon, for a consultation in order to develop an appropriate treatment plan.

After a comprehensive examination is done and your dentist has reviewed all the information obtained, he or she will develop a treatment plan to remedy all of your oral problems and carry out your full mouth reconstruction. Be sure to ask your dentist any questions you might have regarding the process and know the risks and benefits expected before you begin any treatment.

Procedures Required for Full Mouth Reconstruction

The dentist and team of specialists involved in the process of your full mouth reconstruction are the experts in deciding which procedures are required for your specific case. There may be other treatments available, so ask your dentist about all possible procedures that might be needed for your case and under what conditions.

A full mouth restoration is an extensive process and usually involves multiple phases and office visits. It is likely that treatment will take 12 months or more to complete, depending on your situation.

These are some procedures that may be involved in a full mouth restoration: * Prophylactic teeth cleaning and gum care

  • Preparation of your natural tooth structure before veneers, crowns, or bridges can be placed
  • Crown lengthening to render healthy tooth structure available for possible bridges or crowns
  • Positioning of temporary restorations with the purpose of getting comfortable with your new teeth and the feel of your new occlusion or mouth
  • Installing of permanent restorations, such as inlays/onlays, crowns, bridges, or veneers
  • Shaping of the gum tissue to produce harmony and balance in your smile
  • Braces that will help shift your teeth into the best possible position for reconstruction
  • Replacement of missing teeth with dental implants and restoration
  • Oral surgery to reposition the jaw
  • Grafting of bone or soft tissue to improve the stability of your teeth, planned implants, and/or other restorations.

Full Mouth Reconstruction vs. Smile Makeover

While a full mouth reconstruction is usually required for oral health, people choose to have a smile makeover done for esthetic reasons. Many of the same equipment and techniques used for a full mouth restoration are also employed in smile makeover treatments to ensure the success and durability of the results. Both procedures should utilize high quality dental materials and techniques, and require a high degree of knowledge, skill, and training on the part of the dentist.

As dental restorations and procedures increasingly make use of dental materials that are tooth-like and natural looking, the distinction between cosmetic dentistry and restorative dentistry is not so clear. Applied to full mouth reconstructions, the newer materials available result in a set of teeth that are functional, durable, and esthetically pleasing.

Full Mouth Reconstruction Costs

A full mouth reconstruction costs approximately $800 to $1,500 per tooth, at a minimum. Additional charges for any periodontal treatments, oral surgery, crown lengthening, or other such treatments are on top of that estimate. Thus, the total cost may add up to $30,000 to $45,000 or higher.

Some of the cost may be covered by dental insurance, depending on the diagnosis and treatment plan, and type of insurance. Third-party financing may also be offered through some dental offices.