Dental Tribune Europe

Understanding how bruxism affects dental restorations

By Iveta Ramonaite, Dental Tribune International
July 30, 2021

MALMÖ, Sweden: Research has shown that bruxism not only causes damage to teeth but may also result in implant failure. To further investigate the issue, researchers from Malmö University are seeking to examine how bruxism affects the longevity of dental restorations by evaluating the complications the condition may cause after implant treatment. The study is planned to reduce the time and costs associated with redoing dental work.

In the second quarter of 2021, Dental Tribune International reported on a survey that found that stress experienced during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has led an increasing number of patients to develop bruxism. Tooth grinding has also recently been linked to excessive smartphone usage, which is a common issue in today’s society. Now, the researchers from the Faculty of Odontology at Malmö University are contemplating how bruxism may affect the survival rate of dental implants.

The research has recently received funding from Oral Health Related Research by Region Skåne (Odontologisk Forskning i Region Skåne) and is a collaboration with the Department of Prosthetics at the university. Commenting on the research, corresponding author Dr Birgitta Häggman-Henrikson, professor in the Department of Orofacial Pain and Jaw Function in the Faculty of Odontology at the university, said in a press release: “There is a very high level of competence in terms of dental materials and constructions and long-term survival of implants at the Department of Prosthetics. This will be a good combination with our subject knowledge about jaw motor skills and parafunctions.”

She added that the collaboration across different subject boundaries adds extra value to the project and noted that private sector Smile dental clinics will be involved in the project at a later stage and help evaluate the findings.

During the first part of the project, the researchers will carry out a long-term follow-up of existing patients who have undergone implant restorations in order to inquire into dental complications associated with bruxism. “There may be late complications that arise after maybe ten years,” Häggman-Henrikson noted.

Corresponding author Dr Birgitta Häggman-Henrikson, professor in the Faculty of Odontology at Malmö University. (Image: Malmö University)

The project is expected to take three to four years. The researchers hope that the data gained from the study will help develop methods and routines for efficiently reporting and identifying risk factors related to bruxism.

According to Häggman-Henrikson, the survival of dental restorations is affected by various factors, including the materials used, technical factors and patient-related factors such as bruxism. Discussing how timely identification of these factors could help predict future implant treatment, Häggman-Henrikson stated: “Are certain combinations of factors extra problematic? We want to map out what these complications look like, and in the long run we want to find the factors you need to be aware of before treatment. Then one can tailor treatment both based on patient factors and what materials are available.”

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