Full mouth reconstruction, your questions answered!

Full mouth reconstruction: your questions answered

The Costa Rica Dental Team is a dental clinic that specializes in full mouth reconstructions. Over the years, we have discovered many people are in need of this kind of treatment and have been encouraged to instead remove their teeth.  We decided to put together the most common questions regarding the full mouth reconstruction because we believe sometimes teeth can be restored to last many more years.

What is a full mouth reconstruction?

A full mouth reconstruction is an endeavor to bring all components in the mouth into a complete, functional, beautiful whole.  It is an excellent option when there has been damage on the dental structures that is still restorable.  A full mouth reconstruction is probably one of the most intellectually and technically challenging procedures for the dentist, who must integrate both experience and interdisciplinary knowledge in order to design a customized plan that will meet all your needs and still fit within your budget. It generally involves many procedures and several days of intense work. At the end, all your teeth will be restored to full functionality and your dentist will take care to create at the same time a beautiful smile.

What is the difference between a full mouth reconstruction and a full mouth restoration?

The two terms are used interchangeably. However, the full mouth reconstruction refers more to the refurbishing of individual parts into a functional unit. This involves natural teeth.  The full mouth restoration could be understood to mean the arch-long prosthesis that replaces (restores) teeth in your mouth. This does not necessarily involve natural teeth and may refer to a removable or fixed denture (all on 4) on both upper and lower arches.

Why not simply extract all teeth and forget about them?

Since full mouth restorations are generally costly treatments in the United States and Canada, both patients and dentists have come to believe it is easier and less expensive to simply extract teeth and opt for dentures. However, we will always recommend saving all salvageable teeth for two reasons. The first is because premature full mouth extraction lowers the overall quality of life. This is because dentures are not like teeth. You will not be able to eat or speak how you are used to. Also, the absence of tooth roots causes bone resorption, which results in the “sunken” look on mouth and jaw areas, a major cosmetic concern.  The second reason is because you will not “forget” about your teeth once you extract them. The use of removable dentures requires constant attention, cleaning, and adjusting. Fixed implant-supported dentures require more thorough and strict cleaning routines than do teeth, and you will still visit your dentist once or twice a year for revisions and part replacement .

What can I expect from a full mouth reconstruction?

The end result will be a beautiful and fully functional set of teeth.  Full ceramic crowns are generally used to restore teeth with severe damage. These also provide the greatest flexibility to make changes in the way your teeth work and the way they look. If you are missing teeth, you can expect more than one phase of treatment.  At our clinic we work with tight work schedules in order to offer quick turnaround times, so during your visit, you can expect to have frequent and often long appointments.  

What is the cost of a full mouth reconstruction?

It will greatly depend on the procedures you need and the gravity of your situation.  These treatments are highly customized, and there are no fixed or “package” prices. If you do, you might run the risk of paying more than you actually need. Your dentist will assess your case and go over all the treatment alternatives, your direct needs, expectations, and budget. The cost will be based on the procedures needed to achieve those goals.

What should I do to start my process?

Contact us! Send us pictures or recent x-rays so that we can start getting to know you. With this information we can give you an estimate so you know what to expect. The next step will be to meet you personally in a dental consultation in which we will determine the best treatment for you and plan your case accordingly.