When an adult tooth has been lost or damaged beyond the point of repair, it is important to the health of the teeth, gums, and jaw that the tooth (or teeth) is replaced. There are many options for replacing the crown, or upper portion, of the tooth, but dental implants replace the entire tooth, including its root. Using small titanium screws, the oral surgeons at Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Associates can mimic the natural tooth root, offering superior support to dental restorations, as well as continued stimulation to the jaw bone. Dental implants are an excellent option for those patients who are good candidates for the procedure, but there are many factors that can affect the ultimate success of treatment, including bruxism. For our Montgomery patients, bruxism and dental implant failure are a possibility that should be discussed before treatment begins.
What Is Bruxism?
Bruxism is the medical term for the habit of clenching and/or grinding the teeth. While the majority of patients practice this clenching or grinding at night, while they sleep, it can occur during the day as well. Because this is an unconscious habit, most patients who suffer from bruxism are not even aware of the condition until a dentist notices signs of structural damage of the teeth.
Bruxism and Dental Implants
While the teeth, and the restorations applied to dental implants, are meant to withstand the force of biting, the continual pressure that is placed on the teeth and jaws in bruxism sufferers is likely to cause damage over time. Grinding and clenching can put excessive pressure on both the porcelain restorations as well as the titanium “roots” of dental implants. Not only can this cause damage to the restorations themselves, but it can interfere with the implants ability to fuse with the jaw bone, which is a vital factor in the dental implant treatment process. As a result, it is likely that bruxism will lead to dental implant failure. Because of this, it is unlikely that bruxism sufferers will make ideal dental implant candidates, unless the condition can be addressed prior to treatment.
If our oral surgeons see signs of bruxism, it will be important to address this condition before we can proceed with dental implant treatment. There are several ways in which bruxism can be addressed, and the best treatment will depend on the severity of bruxism, as well as the likely cause of the condition. Below are some options for dealing with bruxism:
- Stress management/relaxation techniques
- Dental mouth guards to align the jaw and protect the teeth while sleeping
- Oral splints to keep the jaw aligned
- Orthodontic treatment to properly align the teeth
No matter the treatment that is chosen, if bruxism can be controlled, patients may be eligible for dental implants treatment and the benefits it provides.
Schedule an Appointment
Dental implants offer restorative treatment with superior comfort, stability, and durability. If you have suffered the loss of adult teeth and would like to learn if dental implants are right for you, we encourage you to schedule an appointment with one of our skilled oral surgeons at Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Associates. We look forward to hearing from you!