Specialty Services in Kirkland, WA
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Full-mouth reconstruction, full-mouth rehabilitation, and full-mouth restoration are terms often used interchangeably to describe the process of rebuilding or restoring all of the teeth in both the upper and lower jaws simultaneously. Your dentist, who has years of experience working with the materials and procedures related to full-mouth reconstruction, will develop a plan that addresses all your needs and will leave you with a perfect smile, ideal bite, and optimal function.
You may be a candidate for full-mouth reconstruction if:
- Your teeth have been lost due to decay or trauma
- Your teeth have been injured or fractured
- Your teeth have become severely worn because of long-term acid erosion (from foods, beverages, or acid reflux)
- You have ongoing jaw, muscle, or headache pain related to your bite
The extent of your reconstruction will depend on the condition of your teeth. Your dentist may recommend crowns, bridges, veneers, or implants to restore your smile to its best possible condition. He or she will also address the state of your gum tissue, as the health of your gums may impact the type of restorations you receive.
Your treatment plan will entail a step-by-step process detailing all aspects of your reconstruction. The duration of your treatment will depend on the extent of work needed, but in the end it will all be worth it. Your teeth, mouth, and smile will be healthy and beautiful for the rest of your life.
Temporomandibular Disorder (TMD)
Millions of Americans suffer from chronic facial and neck pain as well as recurring headaches. In some cases, this pain is due to Temporomandibular Disorder, or TMD.
Your temporomandibular joints (TMJ) connect your lower jawbone to your skull. These joints get a lot of use throughout the day as you speak, chew, swallow, and yawn. Pain in and around these joints can be unpleasant and may even restrict movement.
Symptoms of TMD include:
- Pain in the jaw area
- Pain, ringing, or stuffiness in the ears
- Frequent headaches or neck aches
- Clicking or popping sound when the jaw moves
- Swelling on the sides of the face
- Muscle spasms in the jaw area
- A change in the alignment of top and bottom teeth
- Locked jaw or limited opening of the mouth
Should you notice any of these symptoms, let your doctor know. Your dentist can help indicate the presence of TMD and create an effective treatment just for you.
There are a few simple steps you can take at home or work to prevent TMD from becoming more severe, or to prevent it from occurring:
- Relax your face — remember the rule: “Lips together, teeth apart”
- Avoid grinding your teeth
- Avoid constant gum chewing
- Don’t cradle the phone receiver between your head and shoulder — either use a headset or hold the receiver in your hand
- Chew food evenly on both sides of your mouth
- Do not sit with your chin rested on your hand
- Practice good posture — keep your head up, back straight, and shoulders squared
Wisdom teeth are types of molars found in the very back of your mouth. They usually appear in the late teens or early twenties, but may become impacted (fail to erupt) due to lack of room in the jaw or angle of entry. When a wisdom tooth is impacted, it may need to be removed. If it is not removed, you may develop gum tenderness, swelling, or even severe pain. Impacted wisdom teeth that are partially or fully erupted tend to be quite difficult to clean and are susceptible to tooth decay, recurring infections, and even gum disease.
Wisdom teeth are typically removed in the late teens or early twenties because there is a greater chance that the teeth’s roots have not fully formed and the bone surrounding the teeth is less dense. These two factors can make extraction easier as well as shorten the recovery time.
In order to remove a wisdom tooth, your dentist first needs to numb the area around the tooth with a local anesthetic. Since the impacted tooth may still be under the gums and embedded in your jaw bone, your dentist will need to remove a portion of the covering bone to extract the tooth. In order to minimize the amount of bone that is removed with the tooth, your dentist will often “section” your wisdom tooth so that each piece can be removed through a small opening in the bone. Once your wisdom teeth have been extracted, the healing process begins. Depending on the degree of difficulty related to the extraction, healing time varies. Your dentist will share with you what to expect and provide instructions for a comfortable, efficient healing process.