Full mouth reconstruction, pertains to two types of full mouth reconstruction. The first method involves using the patient’s natural dentition. In this process we seek to re-establish a patients vertical dimension. The vertical dimension in dentistry is the height of the patient’s teeth. The process of using a person's own teeth seeks to re-establish the patients vertical dimension. In dentistry, as dentists we refer to the vertical dimension as the height of the face, in particular the actual height between the tip of the nose and the tip of the chin. The reality is that the only thing keeping our nose and chin from touching is our teeth.
Once our teeth are worn down or decayed and gone a patient loses what we call height or ‘vertical height’. The vertical height determines how the temporomandibular joint functions, how we masticate and also determines our speech.
Full mouth reconstruction is a complicated and extensive process and it is important in the beginning for the dentist to determine what will be the supporting structure. If it’s going to be a bridge then will it be dental implants or it could be a patient’s natural teeth.
The dentist then determines how he will achieve the patients proper vertical dimension and restore the natural height of the patient’s dentition. One way in which this is done is through temporization using a beautiful full mouth of temporary crowns. These crowns can be adjusted over the space of six to eight weeks in order to ensure that the height is proper and the functions of chewing, talking and the natural aesthetics look correct. Once the correct vertical height has been established we can then create impressions of the final restoration that will mimic the height of the temporary crowns into the final restoration.
One item that I use as a restorative appliance which enables me to achieve the vertical height without drilling down teeth is the Snap-on-Smile. Snap-on-Smile in dentistry is used extensively in helping people to attain and restore their natural height or vertical dimension. Therefore this appliance allows us to restore the patients vertical height before going to do something as extensive as a full mouth reconstruction.
Full mouth reconstruction can be an extensive procedure but also a beautiful and effective procedure once finished. However the process is time consuming and requires a very proficient dentist that is uniquely skilled at achieving the patients vertical height, aesthetics, phonetics and function.
Many people ask me ‘How long should a dentist who claims to be qualified to perform this procedure have been doing it for?” There really is no hard and fast answer to that question, but it would be safe to say that the person performing full mouth reconstruction procedures on a regular basis would have had extensive training, probably 3 to 5 years at a minimum and is skilled at achieving vertical height, function and aesthetics - this would be the requirements and skill level needed in order to achieve a proper restorative outcome.
M. Marc Liechtung, DMD is the founder of Manhattan Dental Arts and the Inventor of the Snap-on-Smile®. Manhattan Dental Arts P.C. is located on the Upper West Side at 68th and Broadway. We specialize in dental cleanings,emergency dentistry, dental implants, all-on-4 dental implants, full mouth reconstruction, dental crowns, root canals,periodontics, Snap on Smile, dental bridges, dentures, extractions, smile makeovers and all forms of general and cosmetic dentistry. The practice group also owns New Rochelle Dental Arts. New Rochelle Dental Arts specializes in dental cleanings,emergency dentistry, dental implants, all-on-4 dental implants, full mouth reconstruction, dental crowns, root canals, periodontics, Snap on Smile, dental bridges, dentures, extractions, smile makeovers and all forms of general and cosmetic dentistry.