How can a patient’s chewing habit damage a dental implant?

Changing the side of the mouth that you chew on can damage a dental implant, it has been revealedChanging the side of the mouth that you chew on can damage a dental implant, it has been revealed. 

This is according to a new study carried out by a team of dentists at RUDN university.

A change in a the dominant side of chewing was suggested as a key reason for the early deterioration of dental implants.

It usually takes a patient around three to four months to get used to a dental implant. During this time the type of chewing and the load on the teeth can change.

As a result, after the surgery, a patient can switch to a different side of chewing. This can make it more difficult for a patient to adjust to the implant and, consequently, leads to abnormalities in the bone.

Change to chewing patterns

The research team analysed 64 patients with dental implants, which were only installed on one side of the jaw.

X-rays were taken of the participants’ teeth and the strength of the chewing muscles were measured. This was carried out once before the implant surgery and then twice within a year after it.

Answering a questionnaire, 40 patients (62.5%) reported changes in the dominant side of chewing following the surgery.

Dentists accounted for the change by suggesting they had returned to the chewing patterns used prior to losing a tooth.

Six months after the patients changed the dominant side of chewing, more than one fifth (22%) felt less adapted to the implants when compared to those with no change in their chewing habits.

Look for signs

‘A change in the dominant side of chewing is an important factor in one’s adaptation to dental implants,’ said Professor Igor Voronov from the department of orthopedic dentistry at RUDN University.

‘According to our study, it can also be the reason for pathological processes, eventually leading to the loss of an implant.

‘Dentists need to be aware of the prevalence of such changes. They need to consider them when developing post-surgical rehabilitation plants, and look for their signs during regular checkups.’

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