It is often that we hear that patients are unaware of a grinding habit since there are sometimes no signs of pain or discomfort. The evidence found in the mouth often shows a different story.
Teeth grinding or bruxism can be a major problem for dental implants and even cause failure. Some people clench their teeth , and some grind their teeth(back and forth ) and some people do both ! This can happen during the day or also at night time. Often there is no pain or discomfort associated with it but patients have shorter worn down teeth.
Natural teeth have a shock absorbing ligament called the PDL (Periodontal Ligament). This helps to take the pressure off teeth with everyday ordinary use. A dental implant however does not have this ligament. It is fused to the jaw bone and does not have any shock absorbing mechanism. If a patient grinds their teeth, the side-side and up-down excessive pressures can cause bone loss, chipping of porcelain, even loosen the entire implant !
We always remind patients that if what nature gave us could not withstand such biting pressures, then we cannot expect something that is man made to do any better. Enamel which is the layer found on the outside of teeth is the hardest structure on the human body ! So we can assume that if enamel cannot withstand such pressures then porcelain definitely will not.
For patients with suspected grinding or clenching habits, we often recommend something called a night guard which is an appliance worn over the teeth and relieves the pressure especially found at night time. Its important to periodically have the bite checked on a dental implant to ensure problems do not happen down the road.
For more information about Bowmanville dental implants and night guards please contact us at 905-697-1118