If you suffer from bruxism and have missing teeth, you may feel like you are trapped in a vicious circle. After years of grinding or clenching your teeth (bruxism), your teeth have been damaged so severely that you need dental implants. But if you grind and clench your teeth, you may be considered a poor candidate for implants.
Dont let bruxism discourage you from finding a solution for missing teeth. Our cosmetic dentistry team serves the Memphis area and features a leading implant dentist with extensive training in dental implants and bruxism.
Dental implants are one of the most attractive and secure methods for replacing missing teeth. The implant is a titanium post surgically embedded in the jawbone to function as an artificial tooth root. It fuses with living bone, ensuring a solid foundation for the attached tooth. The process gives you permanent teeth that improve your appearance and restore your ability to eat and talk.
The trouble arises when the reason you need an implant - the grinding and clenching - is also the reason your implant could fail. Because of the grinding, bruxism can prevent the titanium post from fusing with the jawbone after surgery. Even after healing and a successful fusing of bone and implant, continued grinding can loosen or fracture the restored tooth or cause damage at the jawbone.
How Can a Dentist Help?
People may grind their teeth at night when they are asleep and unaware of the habit, making it difficult to control.
If you suffer from bruxism, or even just suspect you do, let us know. Our specialist can examine your teeth for the telltale signs of grinding or clenching. Armed with this information, we can devise solutions.
The simplest is to fit you with a night guard, a mouthguard designed for you to wear at night. The guard protects your teeth from the force of the grinding by preventing contact between the upper and lower teeth. A good night guard is custom fit to your mouth by a dentist to ensure it is both comfortable and protects your mouth.
Sometimes stress leads to grinding, in which case stress management techniques may overcome the problem. And sometimes a bite that is off leads to grinding as your mouth tries to find a comfortable resting position while you sleep. Your dentist can investigate your bite, adjusting your teeth if necessary.
Because it is the destructive forces of grinding that leads to implant failure, an implant designed to reduce those pressures is another solution. The size and shape of individual implants can be modified to spread the destructive stresses to a broader area. And if stresses are too great for an individual implant, a design that uses multiple implants will share the pressure across all of them and may reduce the destructive forces.
Finding a Solution
By understanding how bruxism affects you, your oral surgeon can modify the implant treatment plan to improve your chances of a successful outcome. Please contact our offices so we can determine your needs and design a treatment plan that overcomes the issues you face.