Missing teeth often interferes with eating, speaking and socializing. Dental implants are a nearly permanent solution and they function just like your natural teeth. However, not everyone is a good candidate for implants. Certain health conditions and habits may increase the possibility of implant failure – like teeth grinding.
While grinding your teeth does not automatically disqualify you from getting dental implants, it can interfere with healing and implant longevity. Here’s what you need to know about implants and teeth grinding.
Understanding teeth grinding (bruxism)
Grinding your teeth is also known as bruxism, and many people aren’t even aware they’re doing it. Bruxism often occurs at night while you’re sleeping. If you wake up with a tight jaw, headaches or simply do not feel rested, you may be grinding your teeth or clenching your jaw overnight. This behavior is often concurrent with other sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea and snoring.
If ignored, bruxism can damage your teeth and lead to other jaw disorders, on top of the headaches and pain you may already be experiencing. Ask Dr. Mike or your Fioritto Family dentist about checking for signs of bruxism at your next checkup, especially if you’re experiencing any of the symptoms above.
Bruxism can be treated in a variety of ways, including mouth guards, splints and dental correction. Lifestyle changes to better manage stress and anxiety may also be recommended since this too can contribute to bruxism. If sleep apnea or other disorders contribute to bruxism, properly treating the underlying cause will often stop teeth grinding. In severe cases, Botox injections or muscle relaxants can help relieve the issue.
Bruxism and dental implants
You can be approved for dental implants even if you grind your teeth, but Dr. Mike will strongly recommend addressing and resolving the problem before dental implants have been placed. Bruxism can interfere with the implant healing process in your jawbone.
When implants are placed, metal “roots” are screwed into the jawbone. The jawbone must heal around the roots. This process is called osseointegration, and it’s crucial for a successful implant to occur. Patients must wait until the jawbone has healed before teeth (dental crowns) can be attached to the implant root.
Putting excessive force on the implant roots because of grinding, may lengthen the healing time or prevent healing entirely. Addressing stress and sleep apnea, to wearing mouthguards while asleep, will improve your overall health, and your oral health!
Find out if you’re a good candidate for dental implants
Are dental implants right for you? The best way to find out is to schedule a consultation with Dr. Mike at the Cleveland Implant Institute. Dr. Mike will assess whether your grinding is too severe for an implant, and if so, he will recommend treatment options. Once your bruxism is well-managed, there is a good chance you will be approved for a dental implant.
If you’re ready to replace your missing teeth, reach out to the Cleveland Implant Institute today.