A loose dental implant is a kind of dental implant failure. Although loose dental implant is a rare occurrence – either your dental implant falls out or remains intact but feels loose – it is never a pleasant experience.
So, here is a brief on the causes of loose dental implants, how to deal with it, and how to avoid this situation.
What Are the Main Causes Of a Loose Dental Implant
Loose dental implants may be caused by various reasons. If you experience one, the first thing you should do is to contact your implant dentist immediately to schedule an appointment with you. Here are some of the main causes of loose dental implant:
Loose Dental Crown
A loose dental implant commonly occurs as a result of a loose dental crown, the tooth-shaped part of the implant losing from the abutment into your mouth. This is not always a serious case. However, when you experience one, you should visit your dentist to look at it. Your dentist may only need to simply screw the crown back to the abutment tighter or if necessary replace the crown.
Another cause of loose dental implant could be bone loss. Your dental implant loses out because as a result of bone loss around the area of the implant. Loose dental implants as a result of bone loss could be a sign of failed implants or that the osseointegration period was not successful. Failed implants are unlikely event – about 5% possibility, but when these occur, they normally occur within the first year of dental implant surgery if they are not successfully integrated.
Peri implantitis is another reason why you may experience loose dental implants. Peri implantitis is a common type of gum disease that affects the teeth and gums. It is caused by bacterial infection. If you notice any early sign and symptom of gum disease, a saving step for your dental implant is to observe good oral hygiene and take antibiotics. However, if the peri implantitis is progressed, you need to visit your implant dentist, who may need to remove the dental implant, treat the infected area, and replace the implant.
In summary, the main reasons why your dental implants can get unscrewed are loose dental crown, bone loss, and peri implantitis (bacterial infection).
Signs and Symptoms of a Loose Dental Implant
Knowing the signs and symptoms of a loose dental implant is a good idea. This will help you to know when to contact your dental professional.
Obviously, if your dental implant is moving or shaking right inside your mouth or better still, if it falls out, those are proofs that your dental implants are unscrewed and you need to consult a dental implant. However, there are other signs and symptoms that your dental implant is losing, these include:
- Bleeding when touched
- Discoloration around the area
- Visible bone loss
This is the reason why undergoing dental examinations are very important. In case you have trouble with your mouth, talk to your dental professional about it. He/she will examine the dental implant to see what to do about it.
Possible Treatments for a Loose Implant
Treatment options for loose dental implants vary according to your dental implant situation and what your dental professional suggests. However, these are the basic treatments for a loose implant.
Cleaning the Area
When you experience a loose dental implant, the most effective treatment option is to remove the dental crown, inspect and clean the infected area. It is not recommended for you to wait to see what happens to your losing implant.
When you remove the crown and clean the area, your dental professional would decide whether you simply need an implant tightening or you need a full replacement for your dental implant, which normally involves another dental implant procedure.
Removing the Implant
Sometime when you have a dental implant failure – either due to failed osseointegration or bacterial infection, removing the dental implant may be the best option. This dental implant procedure is similar to the same procedure of getting the dental implant placed.
In summary, if you detect any sign of loose dental implant, try to clean it and administer good oral hygiene. However, if that doesn’t work, visit your implant dentist to treat or remove it.
Consequences of leaving an Unscrewed Dental Implant Untreated
If you have an unscrewed dental implant, visit your dental professional immediately. The consequences of leaving your unscrewed dental implant untreated can be severe or even life-threatening.
For instance, if you leave your loose dental implant untreated, it may develop into a bacterial infection, which can spread all over your gum, jaw, and mouth and into your sinuses, neck, and brain. If proper care is not taken, it may spread to the rest of your body.
This can also lead to sepsis, which can subsequently infect your blood. In the long run, this will lead to a series of surgery and even Ludwig’s Angina – a disease that can cause meningitis and suffocation.
If your body has a weaker immune system, then you’re even at a greater risk of these consequences occurring faster if you let your unscrewed dental implant go untreated.
Most times, it is not actually the dental implant that gets unscrew but a part of the implant, such as the crown, healing abutment, or the implant screw. Whichever the case may be, it is better to be safe than be sorry, call your dental professional immediately.
In case your dental implant or any part of it falls out, do the following until you’re opportune to see your dental professional:
- Save any unscrewed piece that falls out
- Place a call to your dentist immediately
- Avoid chewing any food with the unscrewed implant
- Rinse the implant area about 2 to 3 times daily with an anti-bacterial and non-alcoholic mouthwash
Most time, dental implant or its part gets unscrew because the patient did not follow the necessary instructions set by the dentist, especially following a soft food diet.
If your experience an unscrewed dental implant, don’t panic. Simply keep it somewhere safe and contact your dentist.
There are possibilities that dental implant failure can occur and one of them is getting your implant unscrewed. However, keeping good oral hygiene can save you lots of dental implants related – brush and floss at least 2 times daily. But if your dental failure is due to factors beyond poor dental hygiene, contact your implant dentist as soon as possible.