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Reasons to Consider a Full Mouth Reconstruction
A full mouth reconstruction is an involved procedure for a condition that affects all or most of the teeth, the jaws, and sometimes other bones of the skull. This type of restoration is performed when there is extensive damage to the mouth and face and the individual wants to restore function as well as aesthetics.
The overall treatment may include procedures such as bridges, crowns, dental implants, gum grafts, onlays, oral surgery, or veneers. Your dentist can inform you whether you are a candidate for full mouth rehabilitation. If so, it is worthy of consideration for the significant benefits it could offer you.
Why would you have a full mouth reconstruction?
A full reconstruction may be a treatment option if you have extensive damage to the teeth, face, and jaw. Such damage has several potential causes.
If caught in its early stages, oral cancer is fairly treatable. However, if the cancer spreads, it may be necessary to remove teeth, affected bone, and a significant amount of tissue in the oral cavity. A specific type of reconstruction may be performed in this instance to restore the individual's oral structures, including replacing any teeth that are missing as a result of the cancer treatment.
All of the information that determines an individual's traits is contained in specific segments of DNA called genes. Sometimes, for reasons that are not entirely understood, something happens to the genes to cause them to change. This change is called a genetic mutation, and it can result in physical traits that are abnormal.
Examples of genetic mutations that can affect the teeth include amelogenesis imperfecta, ectodermal dysplasia, and dentinogenesis imperfecta. Conditions such as these can cause dental abnormalities such as the following:
- Abnormally small tooth size
- Discoloration or excessive translucency
- Abnormal appearance, e.g., grooving or pitting
- Fewer teeth than normal
- Brittleness and susceptibility to breaking
The effects of genetic conditions such as these may be confined to the mouth or extend to other parts of the body. In either case, a full mouth reconstruction may be significant to the treatment plan.
You may have been in an accident or suffered a physical assault that caused significant trauma to the face. As a result, your teeth may have become cracked, chipped, or broken. Your jaw may also have been broken, causing the teeth to become displaced. A full mouth reconstruction can restore the appearance and functionality of the jaw as well as the teeth following the trauma.
Extensive gum disease or tooth decay
Treatment for gum disease and tooth decay usually occurs in an isolated fashion, treating one tooth at a time. However, if the condition is extensive and involves most of the mouth, it may be necessary to perform numerous procedures as part of a full mouth reconstruction to resolve all of the oral health issues present.
What are the benefits of a full mouth reconstruction?
There are many advantages to restoring your mouth to its original functionality and appearance through the reconstruction process.
Rehabilitating your mouth through full reconstruction has obvious benefits for your oral health. Repairing broken teeth helps to prevent dental infections. Replacing missing teeth prevents bone loss. Straightening crooked teeth makes them easier to clean, helping to prevent decay and gum disease.
However, the treatment may improve your overall health in ways that you do not expect. There is a correlation between poor oral health and chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease. Misalignment of the teeth and jaw can put pressure on the temporomandibular joint, resulting in radiating pain in the head characteristic of TMJ syndrome. Avoiding certain foods because eating them is difficult or painful could put you at risk for malnutrition.
When the bones of the face are not sufficient to support soft tissues such as skin and muscle, these structures can sag, causing you to look older. A full mouth reconstruction also improves the appearance of your smile.
Not all the procedures involved in a full reconstruction can be performed in one visit. However, they are all part of an inclusive treatment plan that is much more efficient than it would be to try to treat each problem individually.
While there is an aesthetic aspect to a full mouth reconstruction, its primary purpose is therapeutic: to restore function. It is recommended when there is extensive damage to the mouth and face due to trauma or an underlying medical condition. It is also recommended when tooth decay or gum disease is too extensive to treat in isolation.
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