Mouthguards To Protect Your Dental Implants

Dental implants offer stability, durability, and cosmetic appeal. Each implant restoration fully replaces the entire lost tooth, not just the crown.

As a dental implant is installed, it is placed in the bone of the jaw, as a natural tooth root would be positioned. Over time, the bone and the implant integrate or fuse. The healing process that brings about this connection is called osseointegration.

After osseointegration has been completed, the implant can be fitted with an abutment and covered by a dental crown.

Dental implants are often successful. However, there are things, such as dental trauma, that can increase the likelihood of implant failure. A mouthguard can help. Here is how:

Implant Protection During Sports

There are multiple instances in which a mouthguard is suitable. For instance, if you play sports that involve a lot of contact, such as football or basketball, a mouthguard can help protect your implants from being damaged. A blow to the face or a hard fall that causes your jaws to suddenly clamp together forcefully and force a dental implant to shift from its position in the bone. Once the implant is moved out of place, the connectivity to the bone is lost. Although osseointegration occurs as the implant wound initially heals, it will not reoccur. As a result, a dental implant that is knocked loose will need to be replaced.

Implant Protection Against Bruxism

A mouthguard is also needed if you suffer from a condition called bruxism. This condition occurs at night without your knowledge and involves the grinding of your teeth together. The bite force associated with forcefully pressing the teeth of the top palate against those of the lower palate and clenching them back and forth in a lateral motion can move a dental implant in the same way that a blow to the face can. The traumatic force associated with bruxism is sometimes strong enough to chip or crack a natural tooth. As a result, it is also sufficient to damage a dental implant.

Mouthguards are made of soft, shock-absorbent material, so they help absorb and deflect damaging force from your implants. Sports-related mouthguards include a good amount of foam or gel-like material in the front of the implants and teeth as well as between the top and lower palates. Bruxism mouthguards are more likely to have the greatest amount of cushioning between the two palates.

Although mouthguards are available over-the-counter, the most comfortable guards are purchased from your dentist because of their customization.

To learn more ways to protect your dental implants from damage, schedule an appointment with a dentist like John P Poovey DMD PC.