Dental implants are a popular option for replacing missing teeth. They are designed to mimic the look, feel, and function of natural teeth and can provide patients with a durable and long-lasting solution for tooth loss. However, in some cases, dental implants may become loose and require attention from a dental professional. So what causes dental implant loosening and what to do about it?

dental implant loose

This post from Sydney Dental explains the causes of loose dental implants, the symptoms, and the treatments available to solve this problem.

dental implant

1. What causes a dental implant to loosen?

Dental implants consist of three parts: the implant, the abutment, and the crown. The implant is a small titanium post that is surgically placed into the jawbone. The abutment connects the implant to the crown, which is the visible portion of the tooth replacement. Loose dental implants can occur for several reasons, including:

Failed osseointegration

Osseointegration is the process by which the implant fuses with the jawbone. If this process fails, the implant may not be stable enough to support the abutment and crown, leading to a loose implant. This can happen for several reasons, including poor bone density, infection, or a lack of blood flow to the area.

Peri-implantitis

Peri-implantitis is a bacterial infection that affects the soft and hard tissues surrounding the implant. This condition can cause inflammation, bone loss, and implant mobility.

Overloading

Dental implants are designed to withstand normal biting and chewing forces. However, excessive force or pressure on the implant, such as clenching or grinding, can cause the implant to become loose.

Implant placement

Improper placement of the implant can cause it to become loose. This can occur if the implant is not placed deep enough into the jawbone or if it is placed at an angle.

Trauma

Trauma to the mouth, such as a fall or accident, can cause an implant to become loose.

2. What are the signs of a loose dental implant?

If you have a dental implant, it is important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of a loose implant. Some of the most common symptoms include:

  • Pain or Discomfort: If you experience pain or discomfort when biting or chewing, this may be a sign that your implant is loose;
  • Movement: If you can feel your implant moving when you touch it with your tongue or finger, this is a clear sign that it is loose;
  • Swelling or Inflammation: Swelling or inflammation around the implant site can be a sign of a loose implant, as it may indicate that there is an infection or other issue;
  • Difficulty Chewing: If you have difficulty chewing or notice a change in your bite, this may be a sign that your implant is loose;
  • Gum Recession: If the gum tissue around your implant begins to recede, this can expose the implant and cause it to become loose.
dental implant loose
dental implant loose

3. What to do about a loose dental implant?

If you suspect that your dental implant is loose, it is important to seek prompt attention from a dental professional. Depending on the cause and severity of the issue, several treatments may be recommended.

Osseointegration failure

If the implant has failed to integrate with the jawbone, it may need to be removed and replaced. This can be a more complex procedure, as bone grafting may be necessary to improve bone density and ensure successful implant placement.

Peri-implantitis

If the implant is loose due to a bacterial infection, your dentist may recommend a deep cleaning to remove bacteria and debris from the area. In more severe cases, surgical intervention may be necessary to remove damaged tissue and promote healing.

Overloading

If the implant is loose due to excessive force or pressure, your dentist may recommend lifestyle changes such as avoiding hard or chewy foods, using a mouthguard to protect your teeth at night, or addressing any underlying issues such as teeth grinding.

Implant placement

If the implant was improperly placed, it may need to be removed and replaced in a more optimal location. This can help to improve stability and ensure the long-term success of the implant.

Trauma

If the implant is loose due to trauma, your dentist may recommend a thorough evaluation to assess the extent of the damage. Depending on the severity of the injury, treatment may involve repairing or replacing the implant.

In some cases, it may be necessary to remove the implant altogether. This can be a difficult decision for patients, as it may require additional treatment to replace the missing tooth or teeth. However, in cases where the implant cannot be salvaged or poses a risk to oral health, removal may be the best course of action.

4. How to prevent dental implants from getting loose?

While there is no guaranteed way to prevent loose dental implants, there are several steps you can take to minimize your risk. Some of the most effective strategies include:

  • Proper oral hygiene: Maintaining good oral hygiene is essential for preventing infections and ensuring the long-term success of your implant. Be sure to brush twice a day, floss daily, and visit your dentist regularly for cleanings and checkups;
  • Lifestyle changes: If you engage in habits that put excessive force on your teeth, such as teeth grinding or clenching, consider making lifestyle changes to reduce your risk of implant failure;
  • Choosing a qualified implant dentist: It is important to choose a qualified and experienced implant dentist to perform your procedure. This can help to ensure optimal implant placement and reduce your risk of complications;
  • Quitting smoking: Smoking can increase your risk of implant failure by reducing blood flow to the area and inhibiting healing. If you smoke, quitting can help to improve your overall oral health and reduce your risk of implant failure;
  • Regular checkups: Regular dental checkups can help to identify issues with your implant early, before they become more serious. Be sure to visit your dentist regularly and discuss any concerns you may have about your implant.
dental implant loose
dental implant loose

5. A note from Sydney Dental

Dental implants may get loose for several reasons, including failed osseointegration, peri-implantitis, overloading, improper implant placement, and trauma. If you suspect that your implant is shifting, seek prompt medical help from a certified professional. Treatment options may include removing and replacing the implant, addressing underlying issues such as teeth grinding, or repairing or replacing damaged tissue. By maintaining proper oral hygiene, choosing a qualified implant dentist, and taking steps to minimize your risk, you can help to ensure the long-term success of your dental implant.

Hopefully this read on the causes of and what to do about loose dental implants is informative and helpful to you learning about this tooth restoration option. If you are still unsure of anything in search of a new unforgettably stunning smile, do not hesitate to reach out to us. We are at 499-501 Ba Hat St, Ward 8, District 10, HCMC, Vietnam looking forward to your visit. You may also call us at 0937826414 for a free no-obligation comprehensive consultation. Your pretty, shiny smile is 100% guaranteed at Sydney Dental!

 

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