Full Mouth Reconstruction or Smile Makeover: What’s the Difference?

Young woman smiling, portrait, close-up of a full mouth reconstructionThese two procedures are basically the same thing. Both terms describe the use of a combination of different cosmetic dentistry procedures to transform a person’s smile. A full mouth reconstruction is the term we tend to use more often, but many people prefer smile makeover. Sometimes people will use both terms to mean different things. In this case, full mouth reconstruction often refers to a combination of procedures that is addressing structural problems, such as missing teeth or bite problems like TMJ. Smile makeover, on the other hand, refers to the use of a combination of procedures to address primarily cosmetic problems. Sometimes people even refer to the use of just porcelain veneers, which can radically transform your smile, as a smile makeover.

Have You Been Neglecting Your Smile?

Many people who’ve been neglecting their smile continue to stay away from the dentist because they feel ashamed or guilty. In the past, they’ve been criticized for not taking care of their teeth and they don’t want to face scorn. We want you to know that you’ll get none of that here. We welcome all new (and returning) patients with compassion and understanding. We don’t want to dwell on the past–we want to focus on the future and your bright, beautiful new smile.

Common procedures in a full mouth reconstruction for people who have neglected their smile might include dental crowns to restore decayed teeth, root canals to heal infected teeth, and dental implants to replace lost teeth. We may treat your gum disease ourselves, or, if it is very advanced, we may refer you to a specialist.

Outdated Restorations

Another reason people come for a full mouth reconstruction is that they are unhappy with their previous restorations. Although some people were never happy with the appearance of their restorations, most often the complaint is that the appearance has changed and the restorations are no longer attractive. Many approaches that were used in the past can become less attractive over time, such as dental bonding or porcelain fused to metal crowns. Others just look out of date, like metal crowns or metal amalgam fillings. And some people are concerned about the presence of metal fillings and crowns in their mouth.

When we’re replacing your restorations, we can usually just replace them with new cosmetic porcelain versions, such as veneers, dental crowns, or bridges. In some cases, though, secondary decay around or under restorations may require additional treatments. Teeth whitening can help your natural teeth match new, more attractive restorations.

Full Mouth Reconstruction for TMJ

In some cases, we will do full mouth reconstruction to help treat your temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ). Often, this will begin with trying to address a damaged tooth or restoration, when we realize that your bite is out of balance. Initially, we will start by diagnosing your TMJ and determine the optimal position of your jaw. We’ll design a bite splint that will hold your jaw in that position. If you get good results with the bite splint but want the same results without the splint, we can talk about full mouth reconstruction.

Full mouth reconstruction for TMJ will build up and reshape your teeth so they come together in an optimal fashion, helping your jaw to stay relaxed.

T-Scan by Tekscan

T-Scan by TekscanAs we design your full mouth reconstruction, we will verify the exact forces you are experiencing as a result of your bite. T-Scan is a digital bite measurement that lets us understand what forces are at play in your bite, and it tells us about them in realtime. With T-Scan, we can identify any teeth that are subject to excessive force, force that can damage teeth or restorations or contribute to TMJ and its symptoms.

T-Scan helps us ensure that your full mouth reconstruction is properly designed for comfort, function, and durability.

Don’t Give up on Your Smile

No matter what is the cause of the problems with your teeth, we have solutions that can give you the beautiful smile you’ve been longing for. To start designing your smile makeover or full mouth reconstruction in Wilmington, NC, please call (910) 392-6060 or email Kuzma Advanced Dentistry.