Q: I have been grinding my teeth in my sleep for years. Are dental implants an option for me? What are the benefits?
A: You are not alone. Approximately 80% of the population unconsciously grinds or clenches their teeth, a condition otherwise known as bruxism. Dental implants are designed to handle bite forces in a vertical direction. A surgeon will place an implant parallel to your normal bite forces (which are around 21psi to chew a good steak). People with bruxism can generate tremendous biting forces exceeding 500 psi, and introduce horizontal forces that implants do not tolerate well. Your general dentist can address correction of this when planning implants, as well as any bite discrepancy where your teeth do not meet evenly. Dental implants could be an ideal solution, since they most closely reproduce the form and function of natural teeth and can last a lifetime.
Karl Meyer, DDS, M.D.
East Brainerd Oral Surgery
1350 Mackey Branch Drive, Suite 110
Chattanooga, TN 37421