What to do if you have a loose dental implant

A dental implant should not move or wiggle out of place at all. It’s intended to sit securely and resemble natural teeth in appearance, strength and bite force. However, dental implants can loosen up and move out of place due to a number of causes.

Preventing loose dental implants

  • To prevent your dental implant from loosening, It’s best to avoid hard, sticky or crunchy foods that can wear down the crown and place pressure on the implant.
  • It’s important that you maintain excellent oral hygiene to prevent gum disease and peri-implantitis. 
  • It’s also important that you visit your dentist for regular cleanings and attend all of your scheduled check-ups with Periodontal Health Center. 

In the event that your dental implant loosens, here’s everything you need to know!

What causes a loose dental implant?

There are a few potential causes that may explain a loose dental implant. 

  • The crown is loose.

The crown is an artificial tooth that covers the implant. Depending on the type of implant, this piece may be cemented onto the abutment (the piece that connects the crown to the implant) and serves to imitate the natural tooth. If the cement weakens or breaks, this can cause the crown to become loose. To fix this, your periodontist will simply add more cement to secure the crown again.

  • The abutment is loose.

If the connecting piece between the implant and crown becomes loose, this can cause the implant to wiggle or loosen. To fix a loose abutment, the piece is simply reattached, and this shouldn’t affect the implant below. An estimated 33% of loose dental implant cases are due to a loose abutment 

  • The patient has gum disease or peri-implantitis.

If gum disease develops around the implant, this is called peri-implantitis. Gum disease causes the jaw bone to deteriorate, making the implant less stable and causing it to loosen. Depending on the progression of the disease, a scaling and root planing procedure may be performed to clean the area and stop the disease. In severe cases, bone grafting may be necessary to restore the deteriorated bone. 

Loose Dental Implant Symptoms

If you notice any of the following symptoms, this may indicate a loose dental implant.

  • Jaw pain 
  • Pain when chewing or inability to chew
  • Discolored gums around the implant
  • Bleeding
  • Sunken gums
  • Wiggly implant 
  • Crown falling off

Is a loose dental implant an emergency?

For the most part, a loose dental implant is an emergency. If gum disease or an infection is the cause behind the loose dental implant, this needs to be taken care of as soon as possible to prevent the disease from spreading. 

Without treatment, gum disease or infection can compromise your jaw bone, cause teeth to fall out and lead to a variety of health conditions, including heart disease.

It’s important that our experienced periodontists are able to assess your condition and bone health to ensure that there isn’t an underlying disease and to reattach the dental implant.

How to react to a loose dental implant

If you notice a loose dental implant, please call us immediately. We will prioritize your visit to determine the best solution and get you back on track.

The right treatment or solution will depend on the cause of the loose implant, the specific piece that’s loose and your overall health.

If a piece falls off the dental implant, try to save it and bring it with you to your appointment. You can use an alcohol-free antibacterial mouthwash to cleanse your mouth. You should also try to refrain from eating until we’re able to fix the implant. 

Still have questions about loose dental implants?

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us with any questions. We’re always happy to discuss any of our treatments or technologies with you. Our team is here to support you and your gums!

If you’re looking for a top periodontist in Tampa or New Port Richey, we’d love to meet you! Request an appointment today.

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