A full mouth restoration offers patients who have experienced a variety of dental traumas. From those who grind their teeth (bruxism) to those who have had oral cancer to drug users looking for a fresh start, a full mouth restoration will improve both the aesthetics of your mouth and the function. This helps improve the quality of life and your overall confidence.
No two full mouth restorations are alike. This procedure is completely customized to meet your needs and can rely on a wide variety of sub-procedures. Because the point of a full mouth restoration is to improve the health of your teeth, gums, and bite the procedures required to accomplish the end results can vary. Dental implants, dental crowns, dental bridges, veneers, fillings, and more can all be a part of the process.
Because a full mouth restoration is quite invasive, it’s important that whomever is considering the procedure be in good health. Being healthy will make healing and recovering easier, and will also help you get the best results possible.
The length of your full mouth restoration will depend on how many procedures are required to accomplish our goals. Generally, however, you can expect multiple visits over several months. This is because each procedure will require recovery time and healing. The benefit is that each procedure will help improve your quality of life and confidence. So each procedure is a step toward a better future.
Because the restoration occurs over several months, recovery usually occurs in steps. Procedures like crowns and bridges require far less healing than something like a dental implant, which requires your bone to heal.
Bone grafting – also known as ridge and sinus augmentation – is a procedure used to build up the bone beneath the surface of the gums. The bones in the upper and lower arch of the mouth are responsible for supporting the teeth. When one or more teeth fall out, bone resorption occurs naturally. When patients decide to replace missing teeth with dental implants, insufficient bone mass can prevent them from qualifying for the procedure. Bone grafting addresses inadequate bone mass by filling in eroded areas with bone harvested from the patient’s own body, or that of a cadaver or animal. The new bone helps promote new bone growth that will eventually support a dental implant.
Did you know…
that the majority of American adults over age 35 are missing, at least, one natural tooth? What’s more is that 1 in 4 seniors age 74 and older are missing all of their permanent teeth. Although dentures and bridges are a prosthetic option, they do not provide the same benefits available with dental implants. Implant dentistry prevents others from recognizing teeth as ‘false,’ and it also prevents the jawbone from disintegrating and any remaining natural teeth from shifting.
You may be a candidate for dental implants if you are missing one or more teeth. You’ll need a complete surgical consultation with x-rays to determine whether you are in good health and have adequate bone structure to support dental implants. In some cases where the bone is not dense enough to support an implant, surgical bone grafting may make it possible to support one in the future. It is also important to ensure you do not have any existing health conditions, such as gum disease, that could cause complications with your implants.
If our office determines that dental implants are right for you, expect the procedure to require multiple visits over the course of several months. The first treatment visit is the one when implants will be surgically placed within your jawbone. You’ll be sedated and under anesthesia during the process to ensure your comfort. Once the implants are in place, an impression will be taken and used to form crowns or dentures that will be secured to implant abutments above the gum line. The implants will need to heal for a period of 4 to 6 months before you can return to have your final crowns or dentures placed.
Dental implant placement is a surgical procedure that requires a period of recovery. During this time, it is common to experience some swelling and soreness, as well as bleeding and minor bruising near the surgical site. Our office will recommend eating only soft foods during the first several days following implant surgery. It is also important to follow all instructions for post-surgical care, including cleaning the surgical site and using any medications as prescribed. Be sure to contact our office if you experience any fever or discomfort that worsens after a few days.
Dental crowns and bridges are custom-fitted tooth prosthetics that are used to replace or restore damaged or missing teeth. Crowns – also known as caps – are fixed over the surfaces of natural tooth structures or dental implants. Bridges are used to fill in the gaps left by missing teeth and are anchored in place by the natural teeth or crowns nearest the empty space. Both crowns and bridges are non-removable and must be cemented in place by a licensed dentist. Patients who get crown or bridges to restore their smiles achieve both the function and appearance of natural, healthy teeth.
that the Etruscan civilization were the first to use crowns as a means of restoring damaged teeth? In fact, the materials they used – ivory, gold, and bones – were still the standard in dentistry as recently as the 20th century, when porcelain crowns were first invented. Today, crowns and bridges are customized specifically for the patient’s bite and can usually be placed in as little as one or two dental visits. With proper cleaning and regular dental check-ups, crowns and bridges can last many years, or even a lifetime.
If you have a tooth that is damaged or decayed, but still intact, a dental crown may be right for you. If your tooth is missing, but its former position is surrounded by other tooth structures, a bridge may be the solution for you. Schedule an office consultation to determine whether you could benefit from crowns or bridges.
If you are a candidate for a crown or bridge, your teeth will be reduced to ensure a proper fit. An image will then be taken of your bite and used to fabricate the crown or bridge. If you are choosing porcelain prosthesis, its color will be matched to the natural shade of your other teeth. If a dental lab is making your crown or bridge, you may be fitted with a temporary restoration until the permanent one is ready for placement. Our office is equipped with CEREC® so crowns and bridges are normally delivered the same day.
Your teeth will need time to heal following the crown and bridge placement process, so it is normal for you to experience some sensitivity. Additionally, you may experience slight soreness in the gums surrounding your restorations, though this is usually manageable with ibuprofen and should subside within a few days.
The wisdom teeth are the final four teeth to erupt from the gums – usually sometime between age 17 and 25. Ideally, the teeth emerge without complication. But according to the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, as many as 9 in 10 Americans have at least one wisdom tooth that is impacted. Even if the teeth all erupt normally, they may cause overcrowding or grow in at an angle that can be problematic in the future. For that reason, many people elect to have their wisdom teeth removed to prevent infection, crowding, and other complications.
that wisdom teeth may need to be removed even if they have not yet caused any problems? Even wisdom teeth that erupt normally may still be vulnerable to decay over time. Because of the location of wisdom teeth at the back of the mouth, many patients find it difficult to clean and floss all surfaces of the teeth each day. Although complications may not appear immediately, wisdom teeth may usually begin causing problems in middle to late adulthood.
You may need your wisdom teeth removed if you have one or more impacted wisdom teeth or if you are having difficulty adequately cleaning those that have emerged. It is recommended that all young adults be evaluated by our office. A consultation and x-ray can reveal impaction, damage to neighboring teeth, signs of decay, gum disease, or perceived complications with future wisdom tooth eruption.
Your wisdom teeth removal will likely be performed in our office. Most removals take only minutes to perform, but you’ll be under anesthesia or sedation to prevent discomfort. Once the teeth are removed, the gums are sutured shut. Keep in mind that you will need a responsible driver to take you home following the extraction, as it will not be safe for you to drive after being heavily sedated.
Yes. You’ll need to keep the extraction site clean and free of debris for the first couple of weeks after the wisdom teeth removal. You’ll also need to take all medications exactly as prescribed by our office. Avoid sucking through a straw for the first several days after surgery, and notify our office if you experience fever or discomfort that worsens after a few days.
Root canals are valuable dental procedures used to treat and preserve teeth with badly infected roots. The pulp is the live portion of the tooth that extends into the root and contains nerve endings and tissues. When it becomes infected, patients can experience pain, swelling and even total tooth loss unless treated. Root canals remove the damaged parts of the tooth and infected root. In some cases, an antibiotic is prescribed to help prevent further infection within the tooth. The organic portion of the tooth that remains will be restored using a cap or crown that provides a natural appearance and normal tooth function.
But local anesthetics and advancements in modern dentistry have made root canals highly tolerable procedures that are often no less comfortable than getting a standard filling. Upon completion, a restored tooth that has undergone a root canal will blend in with surrounding teeth – virtually undetectable to the average eye. More than 9 out of 10 root canal procedures are successful, and most treatments last many years or even a lifetime.
You could be a candidate for a root canal if decay or damage has allowed bacteria to infect the pulp inside your tooth. A root canal could also be the right treatment for you if you prefer to preserve as much of your natural tooth as possible instead of extracting both the healthy and diseased portions of your tooth. For more information about root canals and whether they are right for you, schedule a dental exam and consultation at your earliest convenience.
If you decide to undergo a root canal, the first step in your procedure will involve a local anesthetic. Once your tooth root is numb, the diseased portion of your tooth pulp will be removed and potentially treated for bacterial infection. The tooth will then be sealed and filled before being restored with a crown.
It is normal for teeth to cause sensitivity for the first several days following treatment. However, normal brushing and flossing habits can be resumed immediately after treatment and restoration is complete.
Preventative care is a foundation of dentistry. The American Dental Association recommends visiting your dentist regularly – usually about twice yearly – for full cleanings, examinations, and consultations for potential treatment. Professional dental cleanings help remove built-up plaque that is not removable using conventional brushing and flossing. Often, dentists are also capable of identifying potential problems that patients are not yet able to see or feel. When you maintain regular preventative dental appointments, you can stave off decay and gum disease, as well as identify the beginnings of oral health problems before they become severe.
Did you know…
that Americans are less and less likely to visit the dentist as they age? Data from the Centers for Disease Control reports that only 57 percent of Americans over age 65 visited the dentist in 2010. That compares to about 61 percent adults under age 65 and about 79 percent of children ages 2 to 17. Nonetheless, it is important to visit the dentist for cleanings and exams regardless of how long has passed since your most recent dental appointment.
Yes. Even if you brush and floss after every meal and before bed, bacteria-harboring plaque can accumulate in the tiniest crevices, grooves and pits. Overtime, the teeth will begin to decay in those areas, which may result in pain and partial or total tooth loss.
Your cleaning and consultation will consist of a visible examination of the teeth and gums. If you haven’t been to the dentist in a while, you may also require x-rays for a more comprehensive view of your teeth. You’ll also consult with your dentist about any oral health problems you may have been having or questions that you may have. The cleaning will follow, during which a dental hygienist will use special instruments to remove hardened plaque from your teeth. Finally, your teeth will be polished before your dentist discusses any treatment recommendations he or she may have for you.
In between dental cleanings and consultations, be sure to maintain good oral habits at home. This includes daily flossing and brushing after meals. It’s also important to drink fluoridated water and use a fluoridated toothpaste.
Did you know that between 1/3 and 1/2 of all adult Americans snore or have snored at some point? However, snoring – even chronically – is not necessarily indicative of sleep apnea. In fact, only 1/5 of adults have some form of sleep apnea, which can be a life-threatening condition. The difference between benign snoring and sleep apnea is that apnea patients experience cessations in their breathing patterns and may suddenly gasp for air or choke in their sleep. This can lead to severe drowsiness and fatigue during the day, as well as depression, memory loss and decreased libido. Sleep Apnea & Snoring treatment for sleep apnea and snoring usually depends on the severity of the condition and whether patients are experiencing apnea or simple snoring. Some of the most common treatments include behavioral modifications, oral sleep appliances, continuous positive airway pressure devices, and in some cases surgery.
that you can reduce your chances of snoring or developing apnea by changing a few simple habits? According to the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, one of the most effective ways of alleviating apnea and snoring is by losing weight. The AAOMA suggests that just 10 pounds can be enough weight loss to help open up the airways and reduce apnea symptoms. Other ways of preventing the condition include changing your sleep position, avoiding tobacco products, and maintaining regular sleeping habits.
You may need treatment for snoring if the condition is disrupting the sleep of your partner or other people who live with you. You definitely need treatment for sleep apnea if you or your partner notice some of the dangerous symptoms of this condition. Contact your dentist immediately to discuss your options for managing or treating sleep apnea.
Your treatment will depend on the extent of your symptoms. In mild to moderate cases, conservative approaches are used first. Patients who do not respond to these methods may be fitted with an oral appliance, given a pressurized airflow mask, or otherwise advised to undergo surgery to open up the airway.
You may be able to avoid more invasive treatments by finding ways of reducing the severity of your symptoms. Some patients find it beneficial to sleep with their heads propped up, whereas others find relief by sleeping with a tennis ball under their backs. Talk with your dentist about the options available to you and ways that you can contribute to the management of your condition.
Composite fillings – also known as tooth-colored fillings – are dental restorations designed to be inconspicuous and natural in appearance. They blend well with the teeth and appear more natural than amalgam fillings, which are darker and more easily seen by other people. Composite fillings are made of ceramic and plastic compounds that chemically bond to the teeth. They can be used to fill in decayed areas of the teeth, as well as to help repair chipped or broken teeth. Most dentists use composite restorations to treat the teeth closest to the front of the mouth, as they are more noticeable when patients smile. However, advancements in dental technology and the composition of composite fillings have made it possible for dentists to also use tooth-colored fillings on molars, which receive more wear than other teeth.
that composite fillings allow dentists to preserve more of the natural tooth structure? This is because composite materials chemically bond to the surface of the tooth like an adhesive. The process takes slightly longer to complete than traditional amalgam fillings, but patients can preserve more of the natural portion of the teeth while enjoying a restoration that is discreet and understated.
If you have a cavity, broken tooth, or a deteriorated filling, you may be a candidate for a tooth-colored filling. Schedule a dental consultation to find out if composites are right for you.
During your visit, your gums and teeth will be anesthetized with a local anesthetic near the site of the filling. Once the area is numb, the decayed or damaged portion of your teeth will be removed to make room for the new tooth-colored filling. A resin will be placed over the area and cured with a hand-held light for less than a minute. The new filling will then be shaped and polished before the procedure is complete.
Composite fillings are cured with light at your dentist’s office. You should be able to return to normal activity and oral care immediately after your visit. It’s normal for treated teeth to experience some sensitivity to hot and cold in the days following treatment, but sensitivity that persists beyond a week should be reported to your dentist.
When it comes to protecting your patients’ teeth, nothing comes closer in effectiveness and convenience than a custom-made mouth guard, bite guard, or night guard. Mouth guards are used to protect the natural teeth and dental restorations from damage caused by activities or behaviors that pose a risk to the teeth. Your patients might benefit from a custom night guard or bite guard if they participate in high-impact sports activities or if they show signs of nighttime clenching or grinding (bruxism).
Custom night guards are the choice of dentists who understand the importance of an accurate fit when protecting their patients’ teeth. Unlike over-the-counter ‘boil and bite’ mouth guards, our custom guards are designed to protect far more than the tooth enamel; they can help shield the soft tissues of the mouth against bruising, lacerations, and even nerve damage. Since our mouth guards are hand-processed, they also tend to be low-profile and offer a better fit for the comfort of your patients.
We can produce bite guards for patients of all ages. Simply create an oral impression in your office and send it to our lab for fabrication. We will create a custom guard that protects the teeth and gums and is also comfortable to wear and resistant to slippage. Most guards are returned to your office very quickly and ready for immediate pick-up by your patients. They are very easy to care for – even for the youngest of patients. Simply rinse it with cold water before and after each wear using a soft-bristled toothbrush and paste. Then, keep it stored in its ventilated container in a room-temperature environment.
Keep in mind that young patients may need to be re-fit for a new custom mouth guard from time to time as they grow and their dentition changes. You may suggest that your patients bring their mouth guards with them to future dental visits for inspection and to ensure the guard continues to provide a comfortable and effective fit. Although durable and designed to last, all mouth guards inevitably need to be replaced from time to time due to normal wear and tear.
Teeth whitening procedures are used to brighten the appearance of a patient’s smile – sometimes by as many as 5 to 10 shades in a single session. According to the American Dental Association, teeth whitening procedures have become some of the most popular esthetic dental treatments among patients throughout the country, including. Professional teeth whitening services can be performed in an office setting or prescribed for take-home use by a patient. In comparison to over-the-counter teeth whitening treatments, professional whitening uses stronger whitening agents that deliver faster and more effective results.
that the teeth naturally darken as we age? Furthermore, certain foods, beverages, medications and habits can contribute to a darker, yellowed, or stained smile. However, it is possible to erase years of stains in a single professional whitening session and sustain those results for many years with proper maintenance. According to the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, professional whitening is best maintained by a combination of good oral care and take-home whitening treatments as recommended by your dentist.
You may be a candidate for professional teeth whitening if you are experiencing discoloration, but otherwise have healthy teeth and healthy gums. Schedule a consultation with a dentist to find out if tooth whitening could be right for you. Some patients, such as those who are pregnant or sensitive to whitening agents, may not be candidates for professional whitening.
Teeth whitening consists of a thorough cleaning and polishing of the teeth, with all debris carefully removed. Your dentist will then protect your gums before applying a whitening agent to the surface of your teeth. The product will be activated and left on the teeth for an hour and a half before being washed off with water. Your results will vary according to the natural shade of your teeth and degree of discoloration, but it is normal for patients to experience a lightening of several shades in a single visit.
It is normal to experience some tooth sensitivity following a professional whitening treatment. You may be instructed to avoid consuming highly pigmented beverages for at least 24 hours to prevent the teeth from becoming stained again. Examples include tea, coffee and wine. Depending on your results and long-term teeth whitening goals, you may also be sent home from your procedure with an at-home whitening kit for later use.