Mouth reconstruction involves restoring all of the teeth in both the upper and lower jaws through the use of restorative materials like crowns, bridges, veneers and dentures. This treatment is not the same as a smile makeover, which is usually performed for cosmetic purposes. Instead, mouth reconstruction is a necessary treatment performed to preserve the patient’s oral health.
This treatment may be performed on patients who have missing or severely damaged teeth caused by:
- Injury or fracture
- Acid erosion
- Tooth grinding
Missing teeth leads to serious dental problems and can significantly inhibit a patient’s ability to eat and speak. It is important to seek restorative treatment for any missing teeth, but especially when most or all of the teeth are damaged.
There are many different treatment options available for patients requiring a full mouth reconstruction. Each type of dental restoration offers its own benefits. Your dentist will decide which type is best for you after evaluating the condition of your teeth, gums, temporomandibular joints and bite. Some of the treatment used for a full mouth reconstruction may include:
- Placement of crowns, bridges, veneers or inlays / onlays
- Braces to move teeth into a proper position
- Implant placement for support restorative materials
- Bone or soft tissue grafting to provide stability in the jaw
- Orthognathic surgery to reposition the jaw
- Reduction of natural teeth for placement of restorations
Full mouth reconstruction is a complicated procedure that involves multiple office visits and can take up to a year or longer to complete, depending on each patient’s individual case. Your dentist will create a customized treatment plan for you during your initial appointment to help you regain a happy, healthy smile.
Oral Cancer Treatment
Oral cancer often appears unnoticed in the mouth as a tiny white or red spot or sore. Because many people do not realize they have oral cancer, a diagnosis may not be made until the problem has become more advanced, making treatment more difficult; currently, fifty percent of patients diagnosed with oral cancer in the U.S. do not survive more than five years. Fortunately, early detection of cancer and pre-cancerous conditions provides a higher probability of cure. Regular dental examinations are an invaluable part of early cancer detection and treatment.
Oral cancer can be caused or exacerbated by heavy alcohol and tobacco use and sun exposure. It may appear on the lips, gums, inner cheeks, tongue, or hard or soft palate. Signs to watch out for include:
- A sore that bleeds easily or does not heal
- Red or white patches
- A change in color of any parts of the mouth
- A lump, thickening, rough spot, crust or small eroded area
- Pain, tenderness, or numbness anywhere in the mouth or on the lips
- Difficulty chewing, swallowing, speaking or moving the jaw or tongue
- Sore throat or hoarseness
- A change in the way the teeth fit together