We are very excited to share the hope of a new, restored, smile. We don’t have images and video to share yet, but in the meantime we want to talk a little bit about full mouth rehabilitation: what it is and why you might need it.
What Is Full Mouth Rehabilitation?
Full mouth rehabilitation, sometimes called full mouth reconstruction, is similar to a smile makeover, but with a heavy focus on the health and function of your teeth as well as their appearance.
In a full mouth rehabilitation, we use a custom-designed combination of restorative dentistry procedures to bring your teeth back to optimal health and function. We also rebuild your bite to restore a comfortable balance that alleviates the symptoms of temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJ or TMD). In most situations, we will utilize a number of dental crowns, because these can repair, protect, and beautify teeth. Crowns are also ideal for building up teeth to establish the proper bite. If some of your teeth are in good shape, we might rely on veneers, inlays, or onlays, too. If you have lost one or more teeth, we will use replacement options like a dental bridge or dental implant.
So what are the situations where we might recommend a full mouth rehabilitation?
When We Recommend a Full Mouth Rehabilitation
We don’t recommend a full mouth rehabilitation lightly. This solution is called for when many of your teeth are badly damaged or missing. Here are three of the most common situations where that happens.
Smiles Damaged by Trauma
If you experienced trauma to your teeth or jaw, you might need extensive dental work to restore your smile. Trauma might result from a car accident, a sporting accident, a fall, or violence. Depending on the level of damage, you might need other reconstructive work by a plastic surgeon first. When cleared by your reconstructive surgeon, we can start designing your dental restorations.
Trauma to the jaw can also lead to lingering problems with TMJ. We will design your bite in a way to minimize symptoms of damage to joint structures.
Smiles Damaged by Decay and Erosion
Our teeth are strong against many types of injury, but they are relatively weak against attacks by acids. Unfortunately, many of the foods and drinks we consume on a daily basis are loaded with acid. People who habitually consume highly acidic drinks like sodas, energy drinks, sports drinks, and fruit juices are likely to experience extensive damage throughout the mouth. This can weaken teeth so they start to wear down, chip, and break.
Stomach acid can also cause extensive damage to teeth. If you have an illness that causes frequent vomiting, or have an eating disorder like bulimia nervosa, exposure to stomach acid might have badly damaged many of your teeth.
Finally, acid is also created by oral bacteria that feed on sugars in our mouth. This is what causes cavities. Left untreated, cavities can cause tooth infections and lead to tooth loss. While extensive tooth decay is sometimes linked to neglect of your teeth, it might also be linked to health conditions that make it hard to prevent and control decay.
The restorations we use in a full mouth rehabilitation are more resistant to acid than tooth enamel.
Smiles Damaged by a Bad Bite
Our teeth are supposed to fit together in a healthy way that lets your jaw muscles relax. When you chew, your teeth should make little direct contact. This is good because our teeth are hard enough to wear each other down if they make too much contact.
However, there are situations where your teeth might make a lot more contact. Clenching and grinding (bruxism) might be a nervous habit. Or it might be linked to a muscle imbalance, causing your jaw to clench in an attempt to find a comfortable, balanced position. Some night bruxism is linked to sleep apnea.
Over time, this will wear down your teeth. Often, the wear is uneven, causing a lopsided facial appearance.
In this case, a full mouth rehabilitation will repair the damaged teeth. We will also find your ideal bite position to reduce future bruxism. We might recommend bite guards to protect your restored teeth.
Considering Full Mouth Rehabilitation in Tulsa?
Although these are the three most common causes of extensive tooth damage that require full mouth rehabilitation, they’re not the only ones. If you have extensive tooth damage from these or other causes, it might be time to consider full mouth rehabilitation.
Please call (918) 528-3330 today for an appointment with restorative dentist Dr. Meghan Hodges at élan.