Bruxism, or the excessive grinding of the teeth and/or clenching of the jaw, has a negative impact on dental health. Many patients grind their teeth without realizing they are doing it, which makes stopping difficult. The natural result of bruxism is teeth are ground down so far they are hardly functional, let alone attractive.
If bruxism is a problem, you may wonder whether or not dental implants are even an option for you.
First Treat Bruxism
Dentists should treat the bruxism before considering dental implants. With proper care and routine trips to the dentist, it is possible for dental implants to last for the rest of your life. They are, however, not typically built to last a lifetime. Just like crowns and other dental prosthetics, they need to be replaced after they have been worn down. Bruxism will significantly shorten the lifespan of your implants and cost you even more money.
The most common cause of bruxism is stress. The majority of bruxism sufferers have periods of time when they do not grind their teeth or clench their jaws, even while sleeping. Their bruxism comes and goes along with stressful situations. There are many treatments for alleviating stress, and dentists may even recommend hypnosis to help cure the patient's bruxism.
Once teeth have been ground down, patients can be fitted for a new set of faux teeth, either with a set of dentures or dental implants. Dental implants are the more attractive solution, and many patients are happier with the results of dental implants as opposed to dentures. However, dental implants are not a perfect solution for people with active bruxism.
Dangers of Implants When Bruxism Goes Untreated
If patients have dental implants installed without addressing the bruxism first, they run the risk of having the healing process hindered. When dental implants are installed, the anchor plate, which is installed well before the prosthetic teeth are attached, is supposed to fuse to the jawbone.
This process can take months. If the patient grinds his or her teeth, the healing process will be disrupted. A longer healing time will be uncomfortable for the patient, and it will also make completing the procedure difficult.
Once the dental implants are complete, bruxism can damage the prosthetics and harm the patient. If the patient grinds during the night, pieces of the prosthetics can choke the patient.
Most dentists will install dental implants to correct the damage done to teeth by bruxism. However, they will want patients to manage their bruxism before starting. Successful implantation will improve the patient's appearance and self-esteem, so it is imperative the process be done right the first time. If you have other questions, try contacting an implant dentistry company for help.