May 20, 2021
Dental implants are one of the most popular treatments because of their lifelike look, feel, and function. In fact, over 500,000 people each year choose this treatment! One of the main reasons they’re chosen over other options is that they have a success rate of 95% even after 10 years. However, there is a small chance that they become loose or fail. Read on to learn about the potential causes of this problem as well as what you should do next!
How Can Implants Become Loose?
If an implant does become loose, it will almost always occur during the first few weeks you have your replacement. However, in a small number of cases, they can fail months or even years after they are placed. Dental implants must bond to the jawbone during a process called osseointegration, but this can be interrupted or damaged by numerous factors, including:
- Decay or infection in nearby natural teeth
- Gum disease
- Facial trauma
- Bruxism (teeth grinding)
- Poorly constructed prosthetics or abutments
Your Next Steps
You may notice that your implant feels loose when chewing, speaking, biting, or brushing up against it with your tongue. As soon as you feel there is a problem, contact your implant dentist right away. Over the phone, be sure to explain exactly what is going on so they understand the situation. It’s vital to contact a professional as soon as possible because catching a loose implant early gives you a chance to sav it from completely failing.
Treatment for a Loose Dental Implant
Once you arrive at your dentist’s office, they will carefully examine your mouth, checking for signs of infection, inflammation, damage, or other issues that may cause the implant to loosen. They will also take X-rays and/or digital images of the affected area so they can see the full picture. During examination, your dentist will be able to determine whether it’s an issue with the implant itself or a problem with the restoration or abutment.
If there is an issue with the implant post or restoration, treatment early on can usually save your replacement. Especially if the looseness was caused by infection or gum disease, it’s vital to seek treatment as soon as possible. That said, if the implant has become very loose due to bone loss, severe infection, or damage, your dentist will usually have to remove it – there is no need to worry! Once the area is healed, a new implant can be placed with the help of bone grafting or other treatments.
While unlikely, it’s best to be prepared if your dental implant does loosen. Remember this information to maintain your full, healthy smile.
Meet the Dentist
Dr. Masoud E. Najari is an experienced dentist who attended advanced dental implant training at the UT Health San Antonio School of Dentistry, allowing him to place and restore dental implants at Murphy Family Dentistry. For any questions, he can be reached through his website or by phone at (972) 516-2928.
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