A complete or full mouth reconstruction is a sizable procedure that encompasses rebuilding the teeth that are in both your upper and lower jaws. Therefore, you should not treat it like a routine dental treatment. Before you commit to this procedure, it is important that you have confidence in your dentist to perform a full reconstruction and that you know what it entails. Unlike a cosmetic reconstruction that you might elect to have done for aesthetic reasons, a complete mouth construction is a procedure that might be necessary to ensure that you stay healthy. What kind of circumstances call for a complete mouth reconstruction?
- You have lost many teeth due to trauma or because of decay.
- You have many teeth that have been injured or cracked.
- You have severely worn teeth from erosion over time by acidic foods or from grinding your teeth.
- You continuously have acute jaw and headache pains that require adjustments to your bite.
Unless you already have complete confidence in your dentist’s recommendations and invasive procedure abilities, when any dentist recommends that you receive a complete mouth reconstruction, make sure you ask them several detailed questions to ensure that you are receiving the best opinion and care possible. Consider asking them the following:
- How can I get a second opinion to make sure this is the right decision for me?
- What kind of training do you have in this procedure, and where did you receive that training?
- What type of training does your assisting team have?
- Do you complete all procedures autonomously or work with other dentists and specialists?
- Can I speak with any former patients and/or see before and after photographs?
- What is care like during and after this procedure?
Once you have determined that the procedure is something that you need and have a dentist you trust, your dentist will perform in-depth exams and diagnoses. Your dentist will look at your medical records, check for abnormalities, look for signs of oral cancer, inspect all existing dental work, take X-rays, feel your jaw joints, and probe your gums to look for periodontal disease. After your examination, ask your dentist what specific procedures you will need. Your dentists will create an individualized plan for your reconstruction and will probably give you a few treatment options. Complete reconstruction procedures can include a combination of any of the following:
- Restorative treatments like bridges, fillings, inlays/onlays, and crowns
- Cosmetic procedures like veneers, whitening, bonding, and re-contouring
- Therapy to resolve teeth grinding and its associated problems
- TMD treatments that correct problems that involve TMJs and bite
- Oral surgeries like root canals, tissue grafting, and tooth extraction
- Periodontal treatments like scaling, root planing, and surgery
When you are talking to your dentist, make sure you inform him or her of all your existing medical conditions and medications, as these can factor into your procedures. Often, older patients are at higher risk during procedures and may benefit from a less invasive process. Additionally, those with heart problems and some autoimmune diseases may need special consideration before complete mouth reconstruction.
Also, before you begin any procedures or treatments, you should speak to your dentist and insurance company about pricing and payments, as these vary widely. Because this procedure can vary in cost and is generally quite expensive, make sure you understand what it will really cost you before you begin. Specialist referrals and dentist fees can add to procedure costs. You want to know that the dentist you are working with will take your insurance for this particular procedure and can offer you a payment plan that fits your specific situation.