Cosmetic Dentistry when You Have Bruxism

teeth grinding diagnosis paper on clipboard

Smile improvement is something that most of us consider at some point in our lives. With today’s advanced techniques and dental technologies, more people can enjoy cosmetic dentistry when you have bruxism. However, some things can affect your smile’s appearance without you realizing it, or can impact the success of your cosmetic dental treatment. For instance, if you have bruxism, then the constant teeth-grinding may be the reason why your tooth is chipped or worn down. It can also be a hindrance to improving your smile, since grinding your teeth could damage or dislodge your cosmetic enhancement. Today, your Chicago cosmetic dentist, Dr. James Fondriest talks about doing veneers for bruxers and explains how patients with bruxism can still enjoy the benefits of artistic dentistry.

The Problem of Bruxism

Bruxism is a condition that involves consistently grinding the teeth together. Studies indicate that approximately 70 percent of all people grind their teeth – and about 25 percent of the population does it enough to cause serious dental damage. There is a genetic link as well. If you have immediate family members who grind or clench their teeth, you are much more likely to do so as well. Other factors include:

  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Certain medications
  • Sleep disorders

Typically, you can stop yourself from grinding your teeth when you catch yourself doing it. If you have bruxism, however, then you may grind your teeth incessantly while you sleep and are unable to catch yourself. You might also do it so often throughout the day that you don’t always realize it. The problem is that your bite generates an incredible amount of force. When you aren’t regulating that force and if there’s no food between your teeth, then the intense grinding and friction can wear down and damage your natural tooth structure.

Protecting Your Improved Smile

Empress Crowns

12 Empress anterior teeth were restored to create “the very specific look” that this Highland Park patient wanted. She insisted that her new porcelain dental crowns would have the same light transmitting properties of natural teeth.

Worn teeth and an uneven bite are frequent causes of tooth grinding. In many cases, cosmetic treatment can quickly and effectively address such issues. When you grind your teeth constantly, you can damage your bonding or other dentistry, making the problem even worse. If you have bruxism, then your dentist will recommend addressing it first before receiving cosmetic treatment to ensure that your new smile stays improved. The two most common preventative treatments for bruxism are custom night appliances and orthodontics.

Custom night guards for Bruxism

There are many different ways to address bruxism, depending on the exact cause and the unique situation. However, one of the most common treatments is a night guard appliance. This device is designed to fit over your teeth and protect them from excessive forces. While most patients only need to wear their appliance at night while they sleep, others may need to wear their mouth guards during the day as well.

To create your night bruxism appliance, we will first take impressions of your teeth. These molds are then used to fabricate your mouth guard according to your unique dental anatomy. While store-bought guards are available, custom guards are far more comfortable and effective.

Orthodontic Treatments for Bruxism

Typically, orthodontic treatment is reserved for severe cases of misalignment and malocclusion. If the primary reason for bruxism is crooked teeth, then braces can realign the smile and help your teeth fit together more comfortably.

Dr. Fondriest can talk with you about your treatment options. Once we determine how to control the bruxism, we can discuss cosmetic procedures such as veneers.

Cosmetic Dentistry when you Have Bruxism

Many patients who suffer from bruxism wish to improve their smiles with veneers. In the past, this was risky. Dental porcelain was extremely hard. While hard material may seem like a good idea, we soon discovered that it’s not advisable to use porcelain that is harder than natural enamel. In fact, this hard material had the tendency to crack and chip under excessive pressure. This is the main reason why many patients don’t realize that veneers for grinders are now available.

New technological advancements allow Dr. Fondriest to craft veneers for grinders. These special restorations match the tensile strength and wear of natural teeth. As a result, this material wears and functions just like enamel.

What is this new material? We’ve found that eMax monolithic porcelain is the best material for replacing lost tooth structure due to bruxism. A 2013 study shows that even the most aggressive bruxers do not fracture the monolithic porcelain.[1]

Crowns for Bruxers

At Lake Forest Dental Arts, we offer several different types of crowns. While some bruxism patients may benefit from eMax monolithic crowns, others may require something even stronger – PFM (porcelain-fused-to-metal) crowns.

Veneers typically cover the front teeth – the ones that are visible when you smile. If you’ve suffered the effects of bruxism on the back teeth, however, you may be a candidate for PFM crowns. Your molars and premolars help grind up food for digestion; therefore, they exert a lot of pressure. You’ll need truly strong and resilient restorations in these areas. PFM crowns offer strength and beauty – the best of both worlds. During a consultation at our practice, Dr. Fondriest can help you determine which type of restoration is best suited for your smile.

Cosmetic dentistry with Bruxism: Am I a Candidate?

Virtually anyone who wishes to improve the appearance of their smile can benefit from cosmetic treatments. Of course, if you have severe tooth decay, gum disease, or other concerning issues, we will need to treat those first. However, if you’re looking for smile enhancement that can last for years to come, we offer a wide range of crowns and veneers for bruxers.

Learn More about Veneers for Bruxers

Improving your smile is simple, but if you have bruxism, then addressing the problem will be a necessary before doing cosmetic dentistry. To learn more, schedule a consultation Dr Fondriest at out Chicago area office. You can contact us online anytime or give us a call at 847-234-0517. In addition to the Chicago metropolitan area, we also proudly serve residents of the Northwest and the North Shore suburbs.

[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4192563/