Dental implants are an increasingly popular way to permanently and securely replace missing teeth. With optimum care, dental implants can last a lifetime, though the prosthetic tooth or teeth that are attached to the implant may need to be replaced at some point. There are, however, some situations that can significantly diminish your dental implant’s life span. Bruxism is one habit that can critically damage your dental implants. By understanding bruxism and what it can do, you can better care for your dental implants and enjoy more long lasting success.
What Is Bruxism?
You may know bruxism better by its more common name: chronic tooth grinding. This is a condition characterized by the unconscious clenching and grinding together of your teeth, most often at night while you are asleep. Tooth grinding can be damaging to your natural teeth, wearing them down over time and causing cracks and more serious damage. The constant force and motion of the condition can also cause jaw pain during your waking hours.
Can Bruxism Affect the Success of My Dental Implants?
If you have had dental implants placed, chronic tooth grinding can also have a negative effect on your dental work. Tooth grinding can wear away at artificial teeth just as easily as natural teeth, causing your crowns, bridges, or dentures to become damaged to the point of replacement well before their time.
Bruxism can also hinder your dental implant success rate by directly interfering with your body’s ability to recover and heal. Dental implants are titanium posts that are, as the name suggests, implanted directly into the patient’s jawbone. Over a period of months, these posts are intended to fuse with the jawbone through a physiological process called osseointegration. Teeth grinding, however, can exert excess pressure and movement to these implants on a nightly basis. This can prevent the implants from properly taking hold and integrating with the jawbone, leading to implant failure.
Can I Still Receive Dental Implants if I Grind My Teeth?
It is certainly possible to have dental implants placed if you suffer from bruxism. However, this may depend on the severity of your condition. If your tooth grinding is mild to moderate, your dentist may be able to fit you with a custom mouth guard to wear at night that can help to guard your teeth and dental implants against damage. In cases where psychological issues like anxiety are the underlying root cause behind your bruxism, on the other hand, learning stress relief techniques during your waking hours can alleviate your symptoms that manifest at night.
If your dentist determines that your bruxism is not responding to treatment, he may recommend starting with another option such as a dental bridge.
Learn More about Bruxism and Dental Implant Management Today
If you suffer from chronic tooth grinding, you still have the right to the confident and beautiful smile you want. With the guidance of a knowledgeable restorative dentistry and dental implant team, you can better understand your situation and the best treatment plans for you. Contact Steve Brown, DDS, at the Dental Implant Place to schedule an appointment and learn more about your options for dental implants today.