Placing dental implants requires dental expertise in many areas. One of the most important areas that dentists need to understand for placing implants is how to manage bite force. And one place where bite force can be particularly tricky to manage is the upper front of the mouth, which dentists call the anterior maxilla. But with successful management, you can get dental implants that look beautiful and last a lifetime.
Quirky Forces, Less Bone
What makes this area so tricky? It’s a combination of two things: the nature of the forces sustained and the lack of bone there.
The forces in the front of the mouth are different from those elsewhere. Do a few test chewing motions and you’ll see why. Because of the slight overbite most people have, the forces put on your front teeth often don’t go straight down the shaft of the tooth. They come at a different angle, so they’re often called off-axial forces. Off-axial forces can be hard on teeth, but they’re even more hard on dental implants. Without a periodontal ligament to allow the tooth to flex and move, the side forces go directly to the bone. If these forces are too strong, they can lead to implant failure.
The other challenge in the upper front of the mouth is the lack of bone. The lower jaw is properly a jaw: its main function is to support teeth and the function of the mouth. But the upper jaw is really the bottom of the skull, and it has other functional demands, such as allowing space for the airways of your nose and sinuses. There’s just less room for bone. So there’s less support for dental implants.
When you combine these challenges, you realize how important it is to find a dentist that really understands bite forces when getting implants in this region (which is also the most important for the appearance of your smile).
Measuring and Regulating Bite Forces
To maximize the success of dental implants in this area, it’s important to find a dentist who can measure the bite forces in the area and adjust them if necessary. Neuromuscular dentists are ideally suited to this task.
Neuromuscular dentists have the tools to measure the bite forces in the area, and to find out exactly how your jaw is moving so we can determine how these forces are impacting your natural teeth and will impact your dental implant. This helps us determine the ideal placement and size for your dental implants. It also helps us know when it’s best to build up bone prior to placing an implant.
Perhaps the most important skill neuromuscular dentists possess, though, is being able to help control your bite. We don’t have to take your bite as we find it. Instead, we can work to adjust it to reduce the stresses on your implant and make sure those stresses are the kind that the implant can handle best. That way, your dental implant has the best chances of success, and your smile will also look beautiful, balanced, natural, and healthy.
Choose Your Implant Dentist Carefully
When getting dental implants, nothing is more important than your choice of dentist. Take time and choose your dentist carefully to give yourself the best chances of having successful implants that are functional, beautiful, and long-lasting.