Very often a patient begins clenching their jaw and grinding their teeth due to stress or anxiety; tooth loss or a malocclusion can produce similar results. Dental implants provide treatment to replace one or more lost teeth. Although clenching is not good under any circumstances, there are various ways your dentist can assist you in breaking the clenching habit.
If a patient is grinding, a mouth guard can be fabricated by the dentist to be worn during periods of sleep (when most grinding and clenching occurs). This will help prevent clenching during the night; if the clenching habit is occurring throughout the day as well, wearing the nightguard will help to break this habit.
A successful dental implant relies on several aspects of treatment. One of those is to assure that the implant will successfully integrate with jawbone. Teeth grinding and jaw clenching can impede this part of the implant process resulting in implant failure.
The dental implant process begins with a review of the patient’s overall health. A very thorough dental exam follows – as long as the gums and jaw have not been damaged due to grinding and clenching (a condition known as bruxism), the dentist may determine that dental implant treatment may begin.
A dental implant is a small titanium post that is surgically embedded in gum tissue where tooth loss has occurred. During the ensuing months, a healing process gets underway. During this healing time, bone is fusing to the implant (a process known as osseointegration). It is important that healing occurs without fear of the implant moving.
This is where a mouthguard can be very helpful. As long as stress is not placed on the implant and osseointegration takes place, a successful implant process can occur. The patient might also have determined what may have lead to the onset of grinding and eliminated that cause.
Throughout the healing period the patient will visit the dentist several times to make sure everything is progressing correctly. Once healing is completed and it has been determined that bone has fused to the implant, the final restoration will be affixed to the implant.
Once the restoration has been cemented into place, the dental implant process is complete. Your dentist is likely to recommend you continue to wear a mouthguard to help safeguard against grinding and clenching.
For more information or to schedule a visit, contact our team at A Smile Above today.