Some accidents affect your smile in a significant way. It could have happened during sports, due to a serious fall, or even due to a major car accident, and a number of your teeth may not have survived. When multiple teeth have been knocked out, you'll need a partial mouth reconstruction. When all your teeth have been knocked out, you'll need a full mouth reconstruction. And sometimes when a few teeth have survived, a full mouth reconstruction may yield the best results. What does this involve?
Single Tooth Dental Implants
A dentist wouldn't opt to replace each missing tooth with a single dental implant, even though the way the implant replicates a natural tooth root makes it the most natural restoration in some cases. It's only the most natural when a single tooth has been lost and can be far too invasive for the procedure to be simultaneously used to replace most (or all) of the teeth in a patient's dental jaw. For starters, a dentist will assess the state of any teeth that survived your accident.
The most practical option for your full mouth reconstruction can be overdentures. Each overdenture replaces your upper or lower set of teeth, with prosthetic teeth (typically made of porcelain) attached to a gum-colored resin base. Every effort will be made to replicate the look of your natural teeth. The laboratory making your overdentures will refer to your dental records and most recent x-rays, and even recent photographs may be used. But why is your dentist skipping ahead to an overdenture for full mouth reconstruction when some of your natural teeth may have survived the accident?
Instead of constructing a set of prosthetic teeth that will fit around your remaining natural teeth, it's better to start with a clean slate. The end result will offer a far more stable bite (and feel more natural) if the remaining teeth roots are used as abutments.
In dentistry, abutments are the term for anything used to anchor a dental prosthesis, and the prosthesis in this case is your overdenture. Your dentist will modify the crowns of your surviving natural teeth, reducing their size until the remaining structure can be shaped into an abutment that will fit the contours of the overdenture. Additionally, you'll need dental implants to help secure your overdentures. On average, an upper jaw overdenture (maxilla) will need four implants, and a lower jaw (mandibular) overdenture will only need two.
Even though the loss of most (or all) of your teeth can seem catastrophic, full mouth reconstruction is surprisingly straightforward, and your bite can be restored sooner than you may realize. For more information on full mouth reconstruction, contact a professional near you.