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Staten Island Aesthetic & Implant Dentist

Teeth Grinding in Patients with Dental Implants

By Alex Hecht on August 15, 2013

Dental Implants and Bruxism - Staten IslandBruxism is the technical term for an action that many know all too well: teeth grinding. While you probably aren’t aware of it when you’re grinding your teeth at night, you may suffer the effects of the condition in the morning or after years of teeth grinding and clenching. A sore jaw, gum recession, and worn down teeth are just some of the symptoms of teeth grinding. Unfortunately, patients who grind their teeth are not ideal candidates for dental implants at our Staten Island cosmetic dentistry practice.

Bruxism and Dental Problems

The dental problems caused by years of bruxism can be quite severe. Teeth ground down too far can be far more sensitive, and a mismatched bite can lead to intense jaw pain and other peripheral health problems. There is also the issue of ground teeth becoming discolored and unsightly. In these cases, the teeth can potentially be treated with dental crowns.

However, tooth loss is especially difficult to treat in patients with bruxism, as the pressure caused by the grinding and clenching action can damage replacement teeth, and increase the risk of dental implant failure.

The Risks of Dental Implants with Bruxism

During dental implant surgery, a screw is placed in the jawbone; the screw acts as an artificial tooth root. After the screw has had time to heal, over a period of months during which you may wear a temporary dental bridge to cover any gaps, your dentist can attach an abutment and permanent replacement tooth (or bridge) to the root anchor.

While dental implants can do wonders to improve your dental structure and appearance, it is not without its risks. These risks must be assessed before you can be selected as a candidate for dental implant surgery.

Bruxism May Interfere with Implant Healing Process - One of the keys to any successful surgery is a smooth healing process. The same goes for dental implants. This is especially critical in the months following dental implant surgery, during which the implanted titanium anchor post is expected to graft and fuse with the jawbone in a process called osseointegration. Severe and continuous tooth grinding can interfere with the osseointegration process and prevent a solid bond from forming between the jawbone and the anchor.

Bruxism May Affect the Lifespan of Your Dental Implants - Like most prosthetics, even crowns and bridges are not built to last a lifetime. Even with optimal care, you will likely find yourself replacing these restorations as much as once every five to ten years. That’s with normal wear and tear - severe bruxism can speed up the timetable significantly. Much as tooth grinding can wear away the enamel and shape of a natural tooth, the same outcome can occur with a dental crown or bridge.

Contact Our Staten Island Implant Cosmetic Dentist Today

Because of these issues, not everyone is a perfect candidate for dental implants. At Staten Island Aesthetic and Implant Dentist practice, Dr. Alex Hecht and his son Dr. Jason Hecht have years of experience in the field of cosmetic dentistry - contact our office today to schedule a consultation and find out of dental implants are right for you.

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