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Clenching Teeth: Am I still a candidate for dental implants?

Clenching Teeth: Am I still a candidate for dental implants?

implant dentist ChicagoWhen you take steps to invest in your health, you have a huge responsibility to protect your investment. That means finding out which procedures are right for you, identifying any potential complications, and following professional instructions for long-term success.

During your consultation for dental implants in our Chicago office, be sure to inform your implant dentist about any habits that may cause damage to your new teeth. Clenching and grinding of the teeth are known to damage both your real and your artificial teeth.

The forces that are generated by your jaw muscles are strong enough to damage cartilage, bone, tooth enamel, porcelain restorations, and dental implants. In fact, this parafunctional habit, known as bruxism, is one of the leading causes of implant failure.

Fortunately, bruxism does not eliminate dental implants as a restorative choice for you. With a little planning and teamwork between you and your restorative implant dentist, it is possible to prevent the damage caused by bruxism.

To combat your clenching habit, some detective work may also be required. While most patients tend to clench and grind the teeth at night, not all patients are aware of the habit. Before starting your implant procedure, you’ll need to look for clues that suggest that you may be clenching. These can include tightness in the jaw joint upon waking, morning headaches, sore teeth, or broken fillings.

You will also need to take note of your habits during the day. Do you tend to clench or grit your teeth while driving, concentrating at work, or during exercise? If so, it is very likely that you may carry the habit into your sleeping hours when you are unable to control it.

According to your needs, your implant dentist can offer a number of solutions to help you to overcome or control your clenching habit. You will find that the solution enables you to move forward with the implant process as well as protect your health.  Under the healthiest circumstances dental implants are successful in about 97% of all cases. When even a single factor such as bruxism is ignored, that success rate can drop significantly. The failure is not a surgical one or one of the dental implant surgeon– the implant still integrates – but rather, a restorative one.  The dentist who is making the abutment and crown for the implant, after it has completely healed and integrated, should be clinically astute enough to occlusally correct the final crown of the implanted tooth so that it is not in heavy contact.

To discuss your options for tooth replacement, contact the Chicago Loop office of Drs. Steven Koos and Brian Shah. Call 312-328-9000 for your appointment today.

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