Implant dentistry is one of the best treatments on the market for helping to replace lost or missing teeth, as it provides a strong, lifelike replacement tooth that lasts a lifetime. But while implants are durable in most situations, there are some conditions that can create issues for them – and one of those is bruxism, or grinding and clenching teeth. In addition to wearing down tooth enamel and causing facial pain, earaches, and headaches, grinding teeth can also cause major problems for dental implants – especially in severe cases.
Just as it wears down tooth enamel, regular clenching and grinding can cause damage to the prosthetic crowns placed on top of implants. In addition, clenching places excessive force on the jaw for long periods of time – and this can lead to things like bone erosion over time. If this goes on for long enough, it can damage the bone supporting the implant, potentially leading to implant failure.
For the most part, the severity of the clenching – and not just the presence of clenching itself – determines if dental implants are an appropriate treatment or not. Your dentist can perform an oral evaluation to look for signs of clenching and grinding, and they can also take x-rays that show any hidden damage beneath the gums. If your dentist finds that you are clenching your teeth, it’s important to seek treatment for the clenching before getting implants.
Fortunately, that treatment is usually fairly easy: in most cases, a custom-fitted mouthguard, worn while sleeping, works well in guarding from grinding. These mouth guards provide a soft, flexible surface to absorb and diffuse the forces that come from grinding while also providing a protective barrier between the teeth to prevent damage from wear. Stress is another common cause of grinding, so learning and practicing stress management can also help with managing the condition.
Want to find out if you’re a treatment for dental implants, even if you suffer from tooth grinding? We’re here to help. Feel free to call us at (702) 367-6666 or each out to us at our contact page with any questions or to schedule an appointment at our Las Vegas, CA dental office. We can’t wait to hear from you, and we look forward to seeing you back at this blog for more tips and info on keeping your teeth health and strong!