That’s because the risk of damage to the implant from poor occlusion is even greater than for other types of restorations. And if your implant isn’t properly fitted, you may experience a higher risk of implant complications such as chipped crowns or bridges.
Dental Implants Don’t Have Ligaments
Dental implants are very close to your natural teeth, but they’re not exactly the same. Dental implants are anchored in your bone, similar to the way natural teeth are, but there is a key difference. Your natural tooth isn’t directly attached to the jawbone, it’s held in place with a periodontal ligament that is stretchy and can serve as a cushion for excess bite force on that tooth.
But a dental implant is attached directly to the jawbone, so there’s no give there. All the force has to be borne by the crown, implant, and bone. There’s been some attempts to incorporate mobility into implants, but it hasn’t been fully developed, so it’s important to make sure these forces are balanced.
Dental Crowns Aren’t Flexible
Natural teeth can absorb bite force in other ways, too. The tooth itself is very flexible. It can be squished a little bit to help the tooth conform to your bite forces. However, dental crowns and bridges don’t have that flexibility. They are rigid and if they are forced into a situation that would flex a natural tooth, they’ll either resist the force--or crack.
Of course, flexing isn’t healthy for natural teeth, either. When your teeth flex, the enamel gets cracked, which might show up just as craze lines, or it might turn into enamel damage along the gum line known as abfractions.
Fewer Dental Implants
In your natural bite, the force is spread out over 14-16 tooth roots in each arch. This makes sure that each root doesn’t take too much force at once.
But we will never use 14 dental implants in an arch. We may use as few as 4, and probably never more than 8. This means that each dental implant has to take much more force than your natural tooth roots. Although dental implants can handle more force, we don’t want to subject them to more than we need to.
You May Not Be Used to Teeth
Many people get dental implants after having had dentures for awhile. This is perfectly reasonable, but it does mean that some dental implant patients may have reconditioned their bite to accommodate dentures. Or they may have forgotten about some of the parafunctions they had when they had teeth, such as clenching and grinding.
Not all dentists are capable of rebuilding a natural bite from scratch, as is required in these cases. But a dentist who is trained in neuromuscular dentistry can skillfully reverse engineer the bite from the clues left in your jaw muscles. That is essential to the FOY ® Dentures process, and it’s a great benefit to implant patients in these cases.
Choose a Neuromuscular Dentist for Your Dental Implants
Because of all these challenges of properly fitting dental implants, it’s important to choose a dentist who knows how to create an optimal bite that has balanced forces. Neuromuscular dentistry teaches a dentist how to balance all the elements of your bite--teeth, implants, bones, joints, and muscles--to ensure the best results.