Dental Tribune International

Change in masticatory habit found to be reason for deterioration of dental implants

By Franziska Beier, Dental Tribune International
December 23, 2020

MOSCOW, Russia: The effect of a changed chewing habit in the context of dental implantology has not yet been sufficiently studied. Now, researchers from Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University and RUDN University have found that a change in the dominant masticatory side following implant surgery may be a cause of implant failure. The study results could support dentists in planning their patients’ prophylaxis strategy.

Owing to the quality of implants and technical advancements, dental implantology has attained a very high level of success and has a survival rate of around 95%. Late complications are the only remaining issues of concern.

These complications are mainly associated with microtraumas that occur if the load on the implant is calculated incorrectly before surgery. The excessive load results in the junction between metal and bone being compromised, allowing bacteria to invade and causing inflammation, as described in a press release about the recent study by researchers at RUDN University.

The researchers suggested that additional stress on the implant could occur if a patient changed the dominant masticatory side in the first few months after the operation. According to the press release, the dominant masticatory side of a patient may be changed, for example, because of an inflamed tooth. Since it takes a patient approximately three to four months to become accustomed to a dental implant and the dominant masticatory side may change during this time, pre-operative load calculations may become invalid.

Chewing habit important factor for adaptation of dental implant

In a clinical trial, the research team monitored the rehabilitation course of 64 patients who had received a dental implant for one or two teeth on only one side of the jaw in order to assess the consequences of a change in the dominant masticatory side. The control group consisted of 56 people who showed minor defects in their dentition of the lower jaw and who had no diseases of hard or soft tissue.

Of those patients who had received a dental implant, 40 (62%) changed their dominant chewing side within three to six months. The researchers regarded this as a “as a return to the status that existed before the formation of the bounded defects”. Data showed that after application and fixation of the dental implant, the process of regaining the usual dominant masticatory side in these 40 patients was accompanied by a higher deterioration of the overall treatment outcomes, compared with the 24 patients (38%) who maintained their chewing side. Three to six months after the implant surgery, the patients of the first group were 22.3% less adapted to the implants, compared with 9.3% in the second group. The control group showed an average score of 9.6% throughout the study.

“A change in the dominant side of chewing is an important factor in one’s adaptation to dental implants. 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, consider them when developing post-surgical rehabilitation plans, and look for their signs during regular check-ups,” said co-author Prof. Igor Voronov from the Department of Prosthetic Dentistry at RUDN University in the press release.

The study, titled “Change in the dominant side of chewing as a serious factor for adjusting the prophylaxis strategy for implant-supported fixed dental prosthesis of bounded lateral defects”, was published on 20 August 2020 in the European Journal of Dentistry, ahead of inclusion in an issue.

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