Bruxism, commonly referred to as teeth grinding, is a condition that affects a considerable percentage of the population. For those with natural teeth, bruxism poses its own set of challenges. However, if you have invested in dental implants, the stakes are raised. Dr. Wayne Suway in Marietta understands the intricacies of dental implants and the unique considerations they entail, and he emphasizes the importance of understanding the risks associated with bruxism.
Dental Implants: A Quick Overview
Dental implants have revolutionized the world of dentistry, offering a durable and natural-looking solution to missing teeth. They consist of a titanium post that’s surgically implanted into the jawbone, acting as a root, with a crown placed on top to mimic the appearance of a natural tooth.
Bruxism and Its Implications for Dental Implants
Bruxism can place undue stress on teeth, leading to wear, fractures, and other dental problems. When dental implants are involved, the concerns are magnified.
- Excessive Force on Implants: Dental implants, while robust, are not as flexible as natural teeth. The constant grinding and clenching exerted by bruxism subjects the implants to excessive force. Over time, this can cause the implant to become loose or even fracture.
- Compromising the Osseointegration Process: One of the reasons dental implants are so effective is their ability to osseointegrate or fuse with the jawbone. Bruxism can interfere with this process, especially if the grinding begins soon after implant placement.
- Potential Damage to Adjacent Natural Teeth: If you have a combination of dental implants and natural teeth, the grinding can wear down or damage the neighboring natural teeth when they come into contact with the harder implant crowns.
- Overworking the Jaw: The repeated force from clenching can strain the jaw muscles, leading to conditions like TMJ or TMD, which can further complicate the health and stability of dental implants.
Addressing Bruxism for the Health of Your Implants
Recognizing and treating bruxism early is essential for ensuring the longevity of your dental implants. Here are some steps you can take:
- Regular Dental Check-ups: Regular visits to Dr. Wayne Suway’s office can help identify signs of bruxism before they escalate, safeguarding your implants.
- Night Guards: If bruxism is diagnosed, a custom-fitted night guard can act as a protective barrier, absorbing the force of grinding and clenching.
- Behavioral Therapies: Some patients benefit from therapies that address the root causes of bruxism, like stress.
- Medications: In certain cases, muscle relaxants or Botox injections might be recommended to reduce teeth grinding.
While dental implants are a transformative solution for many, they need to be cared for meticulously. If you have dental implants and suspect you might be grinding your teeth, or if you’re considering implants and know you suffer from bruxism, consult with Dr. Wayne Suway in Marietta. With the right care and attention, your dental implants can serve you well for years to come.