Bliss Dental is proud to offer Miami-area patients with severely damaged teeth a comprehensive set of procedures designed to correct years of cumulative dental issues: full mouth reconstruction. Dr. Andy Gaertner is an expert in restoring extensively damaged teeth and replacing lost teeth, problems which can occur as a result of poor oral hygiene, a lack of regular dental care, oral trauma, and/or illness.
Dr. Gaertner is passionate about creating natural-looking, functional results that help his patients look and feel their best through restorative dentistry techniques. Most importantly, oral health is improved dramatically following the smile makeover process.
What is a Full Mouth Reconstruction?
Generally, a full mouth reconstruction refers to a combination of dental procedures that will address all areas of tooth loss, deep decay, and damage. Restorative treatment options can include:
Each patient has a unique oral health situation and will be provided with a customized treatment plan for full mouth restoration based on his or her individual needs.
Reasons Why I May Need Full Mouth Reconstruction
Often, patients have advanced dental issues due to dental anxiety or a lack of dental insurance. When fear and finances prevent patients from visiting the dentist for preventative cleanings, fillings, and other routine treatments, the result is often advanced tooth decay. Others may not practice adequate at-home care, which can also lead to widespread issues throughout the mouth.
Aside from proper dental hygiene and routine care, some diseases can affect the teeth, and genetics may also play a role in the condition of a patient’s mouth. While many factors result in damage over a long period of time, injury to the mouth can instantly affect the teeth and cause tooth fracture, tooth loss, or other traumatic injuries. In some cases, a patient’s older dental work may have failed around the same time, leading to the immediate need for multiple dental fixes.
Techniques for Full Mouth Reconstruction
The focus of restorative dentistry is repairing and replacing the permanent structures in the mouth, the adult teeth. There are various treatment options that offer different levels of reconstruction.
Some patients are only concerned with the appearance of their teeth, while others seek to also replace the tooth root structures to prevent resorption of the jawbone. A full mouth restoration might require a combination of different procedures and restoration techniques, which may include:
When a patient’s tooth root structure has been affected, a root canal may be necessary to save the natural tooth and avoid extraction and replacement. Deep cavities, dental braces, or trauma to the tooth can affect a tooth’s root and cause decay.
During a root canal procedure, Dr. Gaertner removes the live tissue (pulp) from inside the tooth and root and replaces it with synthetic materials. Natural teeth are very strong and are preserved whenever possible using this method.
Crowns are often combined with root canal therapy but can be performed as a standalone dental procedure in certain cases. The crown is the part of the tooth that is visible above the gumline.
When the natural tooth is severely decayed, the affected material is removed from the tooth and an artificial tooth is placed over the top of the natural material. Sometimes crowns are called a cover or a cap. This fix restores the look of the tooth and allows the patient to bite and chew normally.
When a patient has lost one or more teeth, a dental bridge is affixed to each tooth on either side of the gap in the mouth to fill in the area with an artificial tooth or teeth. The adjacent teeth are modified and crowned to create the bridge. Patients can regain full chewing functions through the placement of dental bridges.
When teeth are fractured, discolored, or have been reduced during other procedures, dental patients may be candidates for porcelain veneers. Made of ultra-strong porcelain, these thin shells can be bonded to the front side of the teeth to restore or improve the appearance of the teeth. Veneers may be placed to correct unwanted changes in the teeth, or to create better aesthetics for a patient’s natural teeth.
Of all the options for replacing missing teeth, dental implants are regarded as the gold standard. This is because the root structure is replaced during a minor surgical procedure, completely replacing the natural tooth. A screw is secured into the jaw bone and an artificial crown is attached to the screw above the bone. When the jaw bone no longer contains the roots of teeth, area resorption occurs. The screw replaces the root and can reverse bone loss and provide anchoring for the replacement tooth.
A great way to improve one’s smile is through teeth whitening. Bliss Dental offers customized at-home whitening trays and in-office treatments. Dr. Gaertner can also recommend a safe whitening toothpaste for regular use and gradual bleaching.
In more complicated cases, like when a patient experiences tooth discoloration due to infected tooth pulp or decay, Dr. Gaertner may suggest other solutions, like a crown, veneer, or internal bleaching.
How Long Does The Procedure Take?
Individual cases will vary in complexity, but most patients should expect that a mouth reconstruction can take several months to two years to complete.
Dr. Gaertner partners with labs that specialize in creating crowns that appear natural with a patient’s own dentition. This process is lengthy because it requires precision. Dr. Gaertner may be able to place temporary crowns until the lab has finalized the process for the artificial teeth. The same process is also typical for dental bridges, which often contain three or more crowns and crowns for root canals.
During the tooth modification process for porcelain veneers, some of the enamel is removed from the teeth. Dr. Gaertner will then take an impression of the teeth with these changes so a lab can design the ideal set of veneers for the individual’s mouth. Temporary veneers are placed, but the full process can often take weeks to months to complete.
Dental implant screws are first implanted into the jaw bone, and it can be 3-6 months before the material has properly integrated with the patient’s jaw. After this, a crown is affixed above the gums. If a patient is undergoing the placement of numerous implants, treatment times may be extended. Dr. Gaertner might opt to focus on one part of the mouth during each visit which helps the patient tolerate the surgeries and allows the mouth to continue functioning normally.
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How Much Will Full Mouth Reconstruction Cost?
Patients interested in dental reconstruction should schedule an appointment at Dr. Gaertner’s office to receive a custom treatment plan. The office can contact the patient’s dental insurance company with an estimate for the treatment and provide the patient with their expected cost. Bliss Dental of South Miami provides a number of payment options, including:
- Credit cards
The average cost per tooth is around $800-$2,000. With extended treatment times, most patients are able to budget for their care or find alternate payment solutions. Cosmetic treatments are not covered by dental insurance companies.
Frequently Asked Questions
In many cases, it is possible to replace all of a patient’s natural teeth with dental implants. The procedure substitutes each individual tooth root with a screw, and an artificial tooth structure or crown is placed at the gum line. This type of full mouth reconstruction is typically reserved for advanced decay when other solutions may not be viable options.
Patient comfort is a top priority for Dr. Gaertner and his staff at Bliss Dental in Kendall, FL. He uses localized numbing which may be combined with sedative medications so that he can perform his work quickly and painlessly. Dr. Gaertner recognizes that a delay in treatment due to anxiety may be why some of his patients require reconstructive dentistry and works to create a pleasant and pain-free environment.
Through root canal treatment, patients can often retain their natural teeth. When a patient requires a root canal, the inner tooth structures have become infected and the live tissue – the roots and the tooth pulp – must be replaced with synthetic materials. Dr. Gaertner assesses candidacy for root canal therapy during an in-office dental consultation.
A dentist with expertise in all the procedures that may be required to restore the teeth in the mouth is a full mouth reconstruction dentist. Dr. Gaertner specializes in teeth restoration and dental restoration. The dentist works with a team of dental professionals to ensure good health of the teeth, gums, and mouth.
When extensive damage to the adult teeth has been diagnosed, patients should consider a full mouth reconstruction. Because many dental problems worsen with age, the sooner they are treated, the better.
Sometimes, infections known as abscesses accompany areas of significant decay. Infection and inflammation should be treated prior to undergoing a total mouth restoration. The gums should also be treated for any gum disease prior to the reconstruction.
Children with serious dental issues may be better served by extractions, and their guardians should be educated on how to improve their oral health to avoid similar issues with their adult teeth. Sealants, regular fluoride treatments, and other measures may improve a child’s overall oral health.
Why Choose Dr. Gaertner of Bliss Dental
As the son of a dentist, Dr. Gaertner’s passion for dentistry began at an early age. Following high school, Dr. Gaertner attended Nova Southeastern University in Florida where he earned his Bachelor’s of Science in Biology, then graduated with his Doctorate of Dental Medicine (D.M.D) degree. Dr. Gaertner has practiced dentistry in both the United States and his home country of Belgium and now calls the Miami area home.
He practices a variety of dentistry, including Cosmetic Dentistry, Smile Makeovers, Dental Crowns, Porcelain Veneers, Root Canal Treatments, Invisalign, and so on. Dr. Gaertner has also integrated the use of Dental Lasers and Botox injections into his practice.
Bliss Dental is a full-service facility, offering top-notch patient care and providing services that range from routine dental care to endodontics to cosmetic and restorative dentistry services that enhance patients’ smiles.