Answers to your questions about full-mouth restoration.
A full-mouth restoration is a comprehensive treatment plan that combines extensive or complete teeth extractions with dental restorations to replace the missing teeth. Considering how extensive the combined procedures are, it’s natural that anyone who may be in a situation where a full-mouth restoration is recommended has a lot of questions on their mind.
Here are the answers to 8 questions we often get from patients who are preparing for this type of treatment plan.
1. Why do I need to have all my teeth extracted?
Extracting all teeth, or most, seems extreme, but in some cases, it’s the healthiest and most economical option for patients. Most patients who need extensive or complete teeth extractions have widespread tooth decay and damage. Treating each individual tooth may not be a feasible option for the health of the patient.
Rest assured that a dentist will never recommend extensive extractions without very good reason, which they’ll explain to you in detail during your consultation.
2. What is the process going to be like?
The process of full-mouth extractions is generally fairly straightforward. The procedure will take a couple of hours and you’ll be completely numbed before and during the extractions. You can opt for sedation dentistry as well—either something mild like nitrous oxide or be completely put under.
Your dentist will use forceps to remove your damaged teeth. However, in some cases when teeth have become impacted, oral surgery may be required to gain access to these teeth and any broken pieces that may be lodged within your gums.
Once all teeth have been removed, your dentist will suture any open sockets, apply gauze, and you’ll be ready to go home to recover.
3. How long does it take to heal?
Healing varies from person to person, but generally speaking, the gums will be healed by day 10. It’s very important to follow your dentist’s aftercare instructions, as deviating from these can delay or complicate the healing process.
The first few days are the most uncomfortable. We encourage taking your recommended over-the-counter pain reliever and anti-inflammatory on a set schedule during this time. Stay away from any form of tobacco, smoking or vaping, alcohol, etc.
4. What can I eat while I’m healing?
You’ll be limited to a soft food diet while you’re healing. Soups, applesauce, smoothies, mashed potato, yogurt, and similar purees and mashes are gentle on the gums and nutritious. Refrain from trying to chew anything while healing or eating anything that may be irritating, like acidic fruit juices and sugary drinks or foods.
Your dentist can provide a recommended foods list before your appointment so you can stock up beforehand.
5. What are my best tooth replacement options?
The two best teeth replacement options for a full-mouth restoration are dental implants and dentures. Dentures are a classic option that remains a popular choice for ease of use, affordability, and minimal “downtime.” Dental implants are more expensive and have an extended period of healing, but they last longer and mimic natural teeth in a way dentures can’t.
Both dental implants and dentures have pros and cons, and what you see as a benefit may not be appealing to someone else. For this reason, you and your dentist will work together to determine which restoration is best for your needs.
6. How soon will I be able to get dentures vs. implants?
In most cases, you’ll be able to get dentures six to eight weeks after your teeth are extracted. It largely depends on how well you’re healing. If you heal very quickly, you may be able to get them even sooner.
As for dental implants, the process is a bit more complicated. If you have a healthy amount of jawbone already, your dentist may be able to place your dental implants during the extraction appointment. A more typical timeline for the average person is to complete the extractions, which is then followed by a three to six-month healing process, and then dental implant surgery.
7. How will my dentures or implants look and feel?
Dental implants look and feel just like natural teeth. They are strong, offer very similar bite force when chewing, and can’t physically come out of place. Since dental implants only replace the teeth, and your natural gums are still visible, it’s nearly impossible for anyone to even tell that you have implants.
Dentures look exceptionally realistic thanks to advances in material and artistry. Most dentures will need adhesives to remain stable in the mouth. Well-fitting dentures are quite comfortable, but you won’t have the same chewing strength as with dental implants or natural teeth.
8. How long does it take to get used to them?
Dentures can take up to a month before you become accustomed to wearing them. Many people have to relearn how to eat and feel an odd sensation when speaking. Getting used to your dentures simply takes time, and before you know it they will feel completely normal.
Since dental implants are literally a part of your smile, most people get used to their dental implants quicker than dentures. There is an initial period of acclimating, but within two weeks most people feel comfortable with their new smile. Keep in mind that it can take a full four to six months before you can eat hard or chewy foods with your dental implants.
Schedule a full-mouth restoration consultation at Valley Dental Clinic.
If you’re preparing for a full-mouth restoration, you want the highest level of dental care possible by your side. For gentle, compassionate, and superior dental care in Wasilla, AK, look no further than the Valley Dental Clinic. Our family dental practice will guide you through every step of a full-mouth restoration.
To schedule a consultation for your full-mouth extractions and further restorations, call our office or use this online form.