Dental Implant Failure: Bruxism
Researchers estimate than nearly 80 percent of the population suffers from bruxism. As demand for dental implants grows, we must carefully evaluate each patient for signs of bruxism. Patients with untreated bruxism may eventually suffer from dental implant failure. To prevent this, Dr. Jose Valenzuela offers treatment solutions. As an expert in implant dentistry, he can explain the risks of dental implant failure from bruxism at our office in Los Algodones, Mexico.
Nightly Damage to Your Teeth
Bruxism is a condition in which patients grind or clench their teeth and jaw while they sleep. Most patients are unaware of the occurrence, but suffer the after-effects. Bruxism damages your teeth over time, causing the outer layers of the teeth to erode. It can also wreak havoc on the jaw, causing severe temporomandibular joint (TMJ) pain.
Diagnosis of Bruxism
In most cases, Dr. Valenzuela can diagnose bruxism simply by examining your teeth and jaw. Signs of erosion or complaints of TMJ pain are often indicators of bruxism. Unfortunately, for patients who are edentulous, or missing all their teeth, a diagnosis is more difficult.
How Can Bruxism Cause Dental Implant Failure?
The forces placed on the teeth when you unconsciously grind or clench your teeth are far greater than the everyday forces used when chewing. This excess force can cause the implants to move from their optimal placement. This risk is especially high during the osseointegration period, or the first three to six months after dental implant surgery.
During osseointegration, the implants fuse with the jawbone. This fusion creates the permanent and stable support for restorations. If a patient with untreated bruxism gets dental implants along with a temporary restoration, the force from grinding or clenching could move the implants out of place. This prevents successful osseointegration and causes the implants to fail.
Other Risks of Bruxism
Bruxism can do more damage than just cause implant failure. Even if your osseointegration is successful, over time, bruxism can cause damage to your implant-supported restoration. Just as your natural teeth suffer damage from bruxism, so do implant-supported crowns, bridges, and dentures. Extreme bruxers may even cause implant failure well after the osseointegration period.
What Are My Options?
If you have or suspect you might have bruxism and also want dental implants, talk with Dr. Valenzuela. The primary treatment for bruxism is a custom-made mouth guard. You wear this oral appliance nightly, and it protects your teeth, and thus your implants, from damage. For patients who are already edentulous, if you experience any jaw pain, tell Dr. Valenzuela. He can closely monitor you for signs of bruxism and fabricate a mouth guard when needed to protect your implants and restoration.
Find Out if You Qualify for Dental Implants
Bruxism is not a disqualifying factor for dental implants. With proactive treatment, we can take the necessary steps to ensure you can undergo dental implant surgery. This can significantly improve your implant success rate, so you can enjoy a beautiful, healthy smile. Contact our office today to schedule a consultation.