Full-mouth reconstruction signifies a more comprehensive treatment modality in dentistry. Due to an involvement of how the upper and lower teeth relate to each other and the temporo-mandibular joint, usually all teeth are involved. The cosmetic dentist addresses every aspect of the oral functional assemble, including the temporo-mandibular joints, the teeth, and their functional relationships with the muscles of mastication. Full-mouth reconstruction is a holistic approach to address any functional and aesthetic shortcoming of the dentition. At the end, the mouth is rehabilitated. Factors such as "vertical dimension," "centric relation," "speech," "muscle tone," and "equilibrated bite" are essential elements of a full-mouth reconstruction.
When do we have to undergo a full-mouth reconstruction?
Some patients have lost a significant amount of tooth structure due to mechanical and chemical causes, and their combination. An experienced cosmetic dentist can easily identify the exact cause of a worn dentition by looking at the location of the dental wear, the patient's symptoms, the patterns of wear, and the history of symptoms and changes in the oral cavity, including prior dental treatment.
Hyperactive masticatory muscles often result in severe damage of the chewing surfaces of the molars. This in turn often leads to a deterioration of the occluding surfaces of the front teeth. Due to their function as inhibitors of cranial neuromuscular activity, their deterioration leads to an acceleration of the breakdown of the masticatory system. However, only when phonetics and aesthetics are visibly compromized, patients decide to seek a cosmetic dentist.
Patients who suffer from dehydration due to their occupation or physical activity and patients with gastro-oesophageal reflux tend to have dental erosions. Erosions are caused by acidic oral environments, leading to a demineralization of the protective enamel of the acid-exposed teeth. Dental erosions have distinctive patterns. The cosmetic dentist should consider general conditions, such as asthma, hypertension, or diabetes mellitus, hypertension because either the general condition or their treatment cause a dry mouth ("xerostomia"). The lack of saliva leads to a decreased buffering capacity against extrinsic and intrinsic acids, hence facilitating dental erosion.
Anorexia and Bulemia
Anorexia and bulemia are specific gastric-acid-related conditions. As opposed to gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), which is caused by a deficiency by the lower esophageal sphincter, anorexia and bulemia are associated with habitual patterns and psychological reasons. Due to the self-induced vomiting, a large amount of stomach acid passes the teeth, causing the extensive loss of lingual and occlusal tooth surfaces. Since these wear patterns are totally unrelated to the original physiological contact points of upper and lower teeth, a patient often has to be reacquainted with the "home" position of his mandible. Please feel free to contact San Francisco cosmetic dentist Dr. Rabanus, if you feel that your teeth have suffered from an eating disorder. There is a series of predictable diagnostic and treatment steps that will help you to fully regain a youthful smile and a healthy mouth.
We will continue to add content to this page to help you understand what the options are for treating severely worn teeth.
Many aspects of a full-mouth reconstruction are also covered in the page Extreme Makeovers.