When you get implant dentures, we might need to protect them at first. To do that, we might recommend that you wear a bite splint or bite guard. This may be temporary, or it may be long-term. Here’s why a bite splint might be good for you after getting implant dentures.
Your Bite May Have Partly Destroyed Your Natural Teeth
One of our biggest concerns is that your dentures may end up being destroyed the way your natural teeth were. Your implant dentures are immune to dental decay and are highly resistant to acidic foods and drinks. And they are very durable, but they’re not indestructible.
If your strong or imbalanced bite might have contributed to chipped, cracked, or worn teeth, we want to make sure that doesn’t happen to your new implant dentures. A bite splint can protect your implant dentures from your bite as well as from bruxism–tooth clenching and grinding.
Your Bite Will Be Adjusting
When we repair your bite with an implant denture, you will need to adapt to the new bite. Although your restored bite will be in a healthy, natural position, you may have acquired bad habits from having broken, worn, or missing teeth. As a result, there may be a few times you will catch your teeth together with an excess of force that can lead to potential chips, cracks, or, in some cases, displaced teeth.
A bite splint will not only protect your dentures, but it can provide a soft cushion that makes it easier for your bite to adjust back to a healthy position.
Implant Dentures Aren’t Quite Natural Teeth
In many ways, implant dentures are going to be exactly like your natural teeth. They will look indistinguishable from natural teeth. They won’t slip, slide, or fall out of your mouth. You can chew effectively and speak clearly. But for all this, your implant dentures aren’t identical to natural teeth.
One big difference is that implant dentures lack the cushion that natural teeth have. Natural teeth are designed with several different types of cushioning to protect them from damage.
First the teeth themselves are kind of squishy. They don’t seem like it, but under stress, your teeth can flex. The dental enamel actually cracks and can repair to a limited extent. And natural teeth aren’t directly connected to the bone–they’re connected with a stretchy membrane that lets them move just a little bit.
But implant dentures don’t have a lot of flexibility (unless we’re talking flexible partial dentures). They’re securely attached to the dental implants and the implants are securely attached to the bone. This can mean that when you first get your implant dentures you might bite down too abruptly and too hard.
You’ll adjust to this in a little bit, as your body uses feedback from your jaws, joints, and muscles to relearn your bite. But in the meantime, a bite splint helps protect your dentures.
An Excess of Caution
The truth is that more than 99% of implant dentures are going to be fine without a bite guard. But we all have a lot invested in your implant dentures in terms of hopes, time, toil, and money. It’s just better to err on the side of caution, especially during the first few months. You probably won’t have to wear your bite splint permanently, but to help avoid the risk of heartbreak caused by dentures that break right after you get them, a bite splint is a good idea.
Your New Beautiful Smile Is Waiting
Are you looking for a new beautiful smile with implant dentures in Blue Bell? Please call (610) 272-0828 today for an appointment with denture dentist Dr. Ken Siegel at Dental Excellence of Blue Bell.