Prosthodontic Full Mouth Rehabilitation in Austin, Texas

One of the common treatments patients seek out and discuss here at Rigby Advanced Dental in Bee Cave, TX is the need for Full Mouth Reconstruction (FMR). Also commonly referred to as Full Mouth Rehabilitation or Full Mouth Restoration.  No matter what you call it, all of these terms describe the same process and can be used interchangeably when one is considering rebuilding or simultaneously restoring all of the teeth in both the upper and lower jaws.

Full mouth reconstruction typically involves a Prosthodontist who is specialty trained through an ADA accredited specialty program to perform complex restoration.  A Prosthodontist performs procedures like crowns, bridges, implants and veneers much like a general dentist can.  The difference between the two is the level of training and experience performing full mouth reconstruction procedures.  On average, a prosthodontist will see many more cases involving rehabilitation, than a general dentist, and thus their overall experience treating difficult cases is greater.  Often to achieve optimal results during a rehabilitation a multidisciplinary approach is utilized and Dr Rigby incorporates other dental specialists like oral surgeons (surgical procedures), endodontists (root canal procedures), orthodontists (movement of teeth) or periodontists (specializing in the gums).

Full mouth reconstruction may be needed or recommended for those who present with:

  • Extensive dental neglect or periodontal disease
  • Esthetic concern
  • Congenital (hereditary) disorders of the teeth
  • Multiple teeth missing due to decay or trauma.
  • Multiple teeth that have been injured or fractured.
  • Abnormal eating habits or behavioral habits altering the normal wear and tear on the teeth leading to severe wear.   A few examples are acid erosion (foods, beverages, acid reflux) tooth clenching or tooth grinding (Bruxism).
  • Ongoing TMJ concerns or complaints of jaw, muscle and headache pain.  These symptoms may require establishment of a new bite (occlusion).

What is the process and how does Full Mouth Reconstruction begin

Often, individuals already know they are candidate for Full Mouth Rejuvenation and the tough question becomes, “Who am I going to choose to complete the work?” Finding a practitioner with enough training and experience can be daunting task. Any dentist can create credentials and look like a master on a website, but only few are qualified to undertake such complex dentistry.  Rigby Advanced Dental suggests going with a Prosthodontist as a first step when deciding on your dentist of choice.  You deserve the care of an expert clinician who is accustom to treating complex issues on a regular basis with high quality long term results in mind from the very beginning of treatment.

Once a practitioner has been decided upon one should schedule a consult to meet and discuss your concerns. Both parties (patient and doctor) should be in agreement and be comfortable proceeding with treatment. A bit of advice……if you do not like the practitioner, then they likely do not like you either, so choose someone you genuinely like to be around to complete the rehab. At the consult appointment, it is likely that a diagnostic work up will be recommended to record and gather information about your mouth before undertaking any definitive work.  The philosophy of, “Measure Twice, Cut Once” is one we live by here at Rigby Advanced Dental and one any good dentist sticks to. The diagnostic appointment consists of a comprehensive exam, making impressions of both arches, clinical photos and any necessary X-rays (radiographs).  This diagnostic information will be reviewed outside of the diagnostic appointment and used to devise several treatment plans……keep in mind, that there is more than one way to treat most issues and it is in the patients best interest to hear and discuss the options available to them.

A treatment discussion appointment will follow the diagnostic gathering appointment where several treatment options will be presented and discussed. After the pros and cons of each plan have been discussed, a final treatment plan will be decided upon by you and your practitioner. A comprehensive, step-by-step treatment plan will be created to correct any deficiencies found. If you do not understand the procedure being described to you, ask for a detailed written description of the proposed treatment plan so you can review it. This can be helpful if you want to get a second opinion. Be sure you understand the risks and benefits of the recommended procedures and treatments BEFORE undertaking them!

Sequence of Appointments for Due Diligence, Discussion and Treatment Plan

  1. Consult
  2. Diagnostic Work-Up
  3. Treatment Plan Presentation and Discussion

During the course of your treatment work-up the dentist will examine your mouth to determine the extent of the problem and the treatment options that can be used to correct it. A few of the areas of interest examined are:

  • Teeth: The condition of your teeth will determine what restorative procedures may be needed, such as porcelain veneers or full-coverage crowns, inlays or onlays, bridges or implants restored with a crown. In particular, your dentist will make note of any cavities and decay, tooth wear, cracks, short/long teeth, root canal issues and any tooth movement.
  • Soft (gums) and Hard (bone) Periodontal Tissues: If the foundation of your mouth is not healthy, or ideal, it will be recommended that this type of treatment come first. Correcting the periodontal tissues will ensure that the Picasso you are about to invest in will last as long as possible. If periodontal disease is diagnosed, a deep cleaning (scaling and root planing) will be recommended.  If bone or soft tissue deficiencies are found, such treatments as bone or soft tissue grafting may be recommended to help build up your gums and underlying jaw bone. A comprehensive exam will look for deep pockets, excessive or insufficient gum tissue, periodontal disease and bone density irregularities.
  • Temporomandibular Joints, Jaw Muscles and Occlusion: A stable bite – one in which you are not in pain when you close your mouth or chew and one that does not cause wear or destruction of your teeth – is important to your overall oral health. Occlusal changes need to be taken into consideration when your dentist plans your restorations. In fact, you may require orthodontics or some other type of treatment (night guard or bite reprogramming orthotic) to correct occlusion before additional restorative procedures can be performed.
  • Esthetics: The color, shape, size and proportion of your teeth, and how they appear in relation to your gums, lips, mouth, side profile and face, are also important factors in full mouth reconstruction treatment.
  • Expectations: Patient expectations need to be in-line with what is realistically achievable with the technology available.  If not, then difficulty can be expected during the course of treatment. Perfection is sought after in every case, but is rarely attained. Keep in mind that the final results are often dictated by the foundation one presents with and since most Full Mouth Reconstruction patients are presenting with a less than perfect foundation the practitioner is limited with the results achievable. The saying, “compromised situations have compromised solutions” holds true.

What Type of Procedures Can I Expect With Full Mouth Restoration?

Only your dentist and the team of specialists working on your full mouth reconstruction can determine what procedures are needed for your specific case. Other treatments may also be available, so ask your dentist about all possible procedures that might be required for your case and under what circumstances.

Most full mouth reconstructions involve multiple phases and office visits. It is not unreasonable to expect treatment to take 12 months or more, depending on your situation. The following procedures may be involved, depending on your needs:

  • Prophylactic teeth cleaning and periodontal care.
  • Crown lengthening to expose healthy, sound tooth structure for possible crowns or bridges.
  • Orthognathic surgery to reposition the jaw.
  • Contouring of the gum tissue to create balance and harmony in your smile.
  • Preparation (reduction) of your natural tooth structure so crowns, bridges or veneers can be placed.
  • Placement of temporary restorations so you can become accustomed to your new teeth and the feel of your new mouth or bite alignment.
  • Placement of permanent restorations, such as crowns, veneers, inlays/onlays or bridges, made from ceramic, ceramic supported by metal or a combination of both.
  • Orthodontics (braces) in order to move your teeth into the optimal position for reconstruction.
  • Implant placement and restoration to replace missing teeth and/or anchor bridge restorations.
  • Bone or soft tissue grafting to enhance the stability of your teeth, proposed implants and/or other restorations.

Full Mouth Rejuvenation vs. Cosmetic Smile Makeover

How does full mouth reconstruction differ from smile makeover? A smile makeover is something that you elect to have performed, while a full mouth reconstruction is something that you need.  This however does not mean that with a full mouth reconstruction you can’t achieve a smile makeover.

As the makers of dental materials respond to increasing consumer demands for beautiful, natural-looking dentistry, it is becoming hard to draw a line between purely “cosmetic” (such as elective) dentistry and “restorative” (necessary) dentistry. For example, it is now possible for your dentist to treat tooth decay with a tooth-like filling material that looks natural. If you need full mouth reconstruction, the materials available today make it possible for your dentist to provide you with durable, functional and clinically sound treatments that also look natural.

It is also important to note that a smile makeover – though performed primarily to improve the esthetic appearance of the smile – requires the use of clinically proven dental materials and treatment techniques, as well as exceptional knowledge, training and skill on the part of the dentist. Many of the same techniques and equipment used for full mouth reconstruction are also used to ensure the success and long-term stability of smile makeover treatments.

Full Mouth Reconstruction Costs and Insurance Coverage

Most full mouth reconstruction cases involve all teeth in the mouth, but every case is unique and depends on your clinical situation. The approximate cost (at a minimum) could be about $800 to $1,500 per tooth. That figure does not include any charges for oral surgery, crown lengthening, periodontal treatments, etc. It is not unreasonable to expect a full mouth reconstruction to cost approximately $30,000 to $45,000 or more.

Dental insurance may pay for some costs associated with full mouth reconstruction. This will depend on your diagnosis and the treatment plan your dentist has developed, as well as your dental insurance coverage. Do not however, assume that dental insurance will cover the costs of a Full Mouth Rehabilitation. Remember dental insurance is a for profit corporation. It has been our experience that while insurance may help, it leaves much left to the individual to cover the costs of the type of work being discussed. Third-party financing may be available through your dentist’s office to assist you in making affordable monthly payments.

For more information about full mouth rehabilitation call now and schedule a consult with Dr Rigby. Contact Rigby Advanced Dental today and take a step closer to having the smile you have always wanted!!!  Now is the time to trust your smile in the hands of an expert! We are conveniently located in The Offices at the Hill Country Galleria in Bee Cave and Lakeway TX.

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