A group of experts conducted research in Malaysia to determine how dental implants can change a patient’s muscle movement when chewing. Surface electromyography was a key element of the research, allowing the team members to see the reactions and movements of multiple muscle groups in the face, head, and jaw. The results of the study were published in October of 2015.

What is a Dental Implant?

A dental implant is an artificial tooth. It is typically placed where a tooth was knocked out or had to be removed because of damage or disease. The implant is typically inserted surgically into the jawbone for stability, and if the procedure is successful, it functions just like a normal tooth.

Why is a Missing Tooth Problematic?

Having a gap in your teeth isn’t only an appearance issue. Many times, issues with missing teeth can cause problems or tension in the facial muscles and jaw muscles, as the mouth and the other teeth work to compensate for the gap. That’s why a dental implant can make a huge difference in the life of a patient, aesthetically and practically.

How Does Surface Electromyography Track Muscle Movements?

With surface electromyography (sEMG), dentists can apply various leads to a person’s face and jaw to gather signals and identify how different muscles of the head and face are moving and reacting. The sEMG technology permits dentists to gauge how well patients are able to balance their bite, how they grind or chew their food, and perform other normal actions after receiving their dental implants. A study of this kind has never been conducted in Malaysia before, so this pioneering work has significant implications.

How Was the Research Conducted?

For this study, the team decided to investigate 42 patients. Twenty-one of these people had the same type of posterior dental implant installed sometime between the year 2011 and 2013. The aim of the research was to determine how satisfied these people were with their new implants.
Various sEMG recordings were taken while each patient chewed on the right side and the left side. Periods of rest were measured, as well as periods of clenching the teeth firmly. Using IBM SPSS Statistics Version 22.0, the researchers analysed the data they collected, as well as the answers on the patients’ questionnaires.

What Were the Results of the Study?

Ninety-five percent of the patients were perfectly satisfied with their implant and how it works for them. Every single study participant was pleased with the look of the dental implant, and over 85 percent of them felt as though the implant was just another part of their body. Overall, the participants were happy that they had the procedure and felt that their lives were improved by it. According to sEMG results, comparing the implant patients with the control group, the chewing function for implant patients was normal and comfortable, causing no undue stress to the muscles.

Dental implants can make your life better, especially if you are currently suffering from bite issues or other problems related to the gap in your mouth. Contact the caring, experienced Singapore dentists at Orchard Scotts Dental right away, and we’ll provide you with implant solutions that fit your needs and improve your oral health.

Source: PubMed Central, 14 October, 2015