Full mouth reconstruction can be a daunting prescription from your dentist. Chances are you have some major questions and not a little bit of apprehension about what might be heading your way. While this type of full mouth restoration doesn’t happen every day, a skilled and compassionate dentist can help you find your way back to a beautiful, healthy smile. If you are considering full mouth reconstruction, here’s what you need to know (including before and after photos!).

What is a full mouth reconstruction?

A full mouth reconstruction (also referred to as a rehabilitation or restoration) is the process of reconstructing or repairing all of the teeth in the upper and lower jaws.

This is different from what is called a “smile makeover” in that a smile makeover is largely elective and cosmetic. A full mouth reconstruction addresses serious functional issues as well as aesthetics. There are a number of different reasons why a full mouth reconstruction might be necessary.


Complete tooth loss due to trauma is one reason for full mouth reconstruction.

This can include any kind of accident that incurs extensive injury to the teeth or jaw, including fractures or knocked out teeth.

Tooth loss due to extreme decay

Most of us know the experience of tooth decay in the form of cavities, but that would not be cause for full mouth reconstruction.

Patients with decay that causes loss of most or all of the teeth also generally have other health conditions that contribute (i.e., diabetes). Neglect of periodontal disease can spread decay throughout the mouth and cause total tooth loss.

Congenital disease

Some patients are born with conditions that can eventually lead to a full mouth reconstruction, including ectodermal dysplasia, ameliogenesis, or dentinogenisis imperfecta.

Severely worn teeth

Whether due to dental attrition or bruxism, long-term extreme wear on teeth can cause damage that cannot be fixed with a veneer or a crown.

Jaw, muscle, and head pain

Again, full mouth reconstruction does not happen just because patients experience a headache. There is cause for full mouth rehabilitation when these types of pain are due to structural issues in the mouth and jaw. These may make normal function impossible, in which case a full mouth restoration can help.

Full mouth reconstruction: Before and after photos

A full mouth reconstruction is a life-changing experience. In the U.S., nearly 4% of adults between the ages of 20 and 64 have experienced total tooth loss. Not only do they suffer from malnutrition because they simply cannot get enough nourishment on a daily basis, but they can experience a crippling lack of self-confidence. This can impact everything from getting a job to kissing a new baby.

Again, it is important to keep in mind that we are not talking about a cavity or two or a tooth out of place. This is considered an extensive dental procedure that is required not just for a patient’s oral health but also for their overall health.