Westpark Helpful Dental Articles
Full Mouth Rehabilitation Often Requires a Team Approach
Some patients need a full mouth rehabilitation or reconstruction. One example would be a patient who has several missing teeth while many other teeth are breaking down and some teeth are not functioning properly. A full mouth reconstruction often involves restoring all 28 teeth. This process requires reconstruction or rebuilding teeth that have broken down in various areas of the mouth. The patient will be able to bite, chew and they can smile just like they did in the past—and in some cases better than ever before.
Some of these patients have such complex needs that an interdisciplinary team is required. For example, when dental implants are indicated, I often work with an oral and maxillofacial surgeon who places the implants and I take care of the restorative phase of treatment. If, however, we determine that there is a reasonable probability of saving the tooth and the case is complex, we bring in an endodontist, which is a dentist who specializes in root canal treatment. When the patient has severe periodontal disease, we refer the patient to a periodontist and work closely with that specialist.
The patient comes back to me after seeing the appropriate specialist—or, in some cases--multiple specialists from different disciplines of dentistry. At that point I take over as the quarterback, so to speak, to restore all the teeth or the implants that have been stabilized by my specialist team. These complex cases are very gratifying because they provide such a makeover for the patient, functionally and esthetically.
It is emotionally satisfying for me to finish the case and give the patient the mirror. I get choked up because the patient is so happy that they can smile with confidence and eat the foods they like without any problems.
Dr. Michael E. Gallagher
West Park Dental
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