If you’ve found yourself reading this blog, you may be considering full mouth rehabilitation for yourself or a loved one. It is an option if a few teeth are affected, but if the entire set of teeth is damaged, full restoration may be a necessity. Let’s take a deeper look at the steps and options involved in full mouth rehabilitation based on your unique needs.
What is Full Mouth Rehabilitation?
Full mouth rehabilitation is the use of a combination of restorative dental treatments used to fix or completely rebuild a smile. Also called full mouth restoration, this method of dental treatment often involves the rebuilding of all teeth on both your upper and lower jaw. With the use of these dental treatments, patients will achieve a picture-perfect smile that is also healthy. Full mouth rehabilitation will not only help you enjoy smiling again, but it will also strengthen oral tissues, tooth structure, and your overall oral health.
Who Needs Full Mouth Rehabilitation?
Full mouth rehabilitation may be a necessity for persons who have attained extensive damage on their permanent adult teeth. Extensive damage can occur from decay, chipped teeth, missing teeth, gaps, discoloration, cracked surfaces, or disease going on for a long time without proper treatment.
In most cases, a tooth filling or dental crown can restore the health of a single afflicted tooth. However, if a patient has numerous problems with a large majority of their teeth that have been overlooked, restorative dentistry is often the recommended route. You may currently use false teeth that may correct issues with a few missing teeth – but full mouth rehabilitation might be a required treatment option to correct more extensive issues that can possibly affect your entire mouth.
Full Mouth Rehabilitation Steps
Now that we’ve taken a look at what full mouth rehabilitation is and who may need it, let’s take a look at the exact treatment used during this process. For your specific treatment, a few of the following procedures may be required to reach your end goal.
Dental Prophylaxis and Gum Care
Often the first step to full mouth rehabilitation is dental prophylaxis and gum care. During this step, a dentist will thoroughly clean the teeth and gums in a patient’s mouth. This thorough cleaning will ensure clean teeth, as well as, aid in treating diseases and inflammation of the gums.
Preparation of Your Natural Tooth Structure
After dental prophylaxis and gum care, a dentist will often prepare the natural tooth structure. This is done by numbing the tooth and surrounding gum tissue to make sure the patient is comfortable throughout the entire process. After numbing, teeth will then be filed down along the chewing surface and sides to make room for veneers, crowns, or bridges.
Crown lengthening may be a part of natural tooth structure preparation in some cases. During this process, the gum tissue will be reduced and bone will be shaven down, if necessary. This will expose more of your tooth above the surface of your gums, ensuring your crown, veneer, or bridge can be properly fitted.
Positioning of Temporary Restorations
Your dentist may offer you temporary restorations to give you a chance to get used to the feel of your new smile. Think of it as a test drive before fully committing to a car. During this time, it’s imperative that you confirm everything fits comfortably and you love the way your new smile looks. It’s important to make sure you’ll be happy to see and live with this smile every single day, as this is often the final step before the real deal.
Installing Permanent Restorations
With the use of innovative technology, a new smile is made possible. Both temporary and permanent restorations will typically be created with a dental 3D printer. After your test drive and your feedback, your dentist will install your permanent restorations. This is often one of the final steps of your full mouth rehabilitation treatment.
Although the steps listed above are the most common, there are others that may be required before installing your permanent restorations. Let’s take a quick look at them below:
- False teeth – The use of false teeth is a great solution for those who only have a few problem areas. False teeth, also known as dentures will help you to achieve a full smile. They are easy to clean and they can help to reduce further oral health issues. Just like veneers, crowns, or bridges that may be used during full mouth rehabilitation – false teeth are made specifically for your mouth and will give you a comfortable fit. Choosing this route earlier may help to avoid the need for full mouth rehabilitation later.
- Shaping of gum tissue – Shaping of gum tissue is often looked at as a cosmetic step of full mouth rehabilitation. Also known as gingival sculpting, during this process, the gum line is reshaped. Often improving the look of a smile that may show too much gum for your liking.
- Braces – Braces may be used as one of the first steps of full mouth rehabilitation for some patients who may have large gaps. This step will shift teeth into the ideal position for reconstruction and rehabilitation.
- Replacing missing teeth – Replacing missing teeth is most common for patients who don’t actually require a full mouth rehabilitation from start to finish. Dental implants may be installed to offer you a full permanent smile.
- Grafting of bone of soft tissue – This step will improve the stability of your teeth, allowing implants and other restorations to have a secure new home.
All of this information may seem a little overwhelming, and that’s okay. It’s important to remember that the dentist you choose will ensure that you’re as comfortable as possible during this entire process. You will be numbed and relieved of pain where necessary, before and after your treatments.
Research is the first step to achieving the smile you want and deserve. Try to get the professional opinions of at least two dental professionals. Spend a bit of time reading company reviews and get the opinions of family and friends who may have visited before. Cheers, you’re one step closer to your dream smile and complete comfort!
Aaron Smith is an LA-based content strategist and consultant in support of STEM firms and medical practices. He covers industry developments and helps companies connect with clients. In his free time, Aaron enjoys swimming, swing dancing, and sci-fi novels.