Dental implants are a great way to restore teeth you’ve lost from trauma or infections. They improve your appearance and make it far easier to talk, eat, and drink. When done successfully, a dental implant is a permanent tooth replacement that should look and feel like a real tooth. Because dental implants are drilled into your jaw bone, they are extremely secure and shouldn’t shift. Therefore, if you notice your dental implant is loose or wobbly, you should immediately contact Dr. Mann for help.
Causes of Loose Dental Implants
There are various reasons why your dental implant might be loose. One of the most common reasons is that you are suffering bone loss in your jaw. When your dental implant is originally installed, it’s drilled into the jaw. Eventually, the bone should bind directly around the implant, securing it in place. This is known as osseointegration. For some people, this process doesn’t work quite right, leaving a layer of soft tissue between the implant and the bone that allows it to wiggle.
The failure of osseointegration could happen for a number of reasons, including poor bone quality, bone grafting, bacterial contamination, infection, and smoking.
Dental implants can also fail because of peri-implantitis, a form of gum disease associated with dentures.
One of the less serious reasons your implant could feel loose is that the dental crown attached to it is loose. Luckily, this is an easy fix.
What Are the Signs Your Dental Implant Is Loose?
If your implant is loose enough that you can feel it moving, that should be a good indicator of a problem. However, some other signs you might notice in addition to wiggling include:
- Noticeable bone loss around your jaw
- Pain in the area
- Discoloration in the area
Steps to Take When Your Dental Implant Is Loose
Obviously, your first step when you notice a problem with your dental implants is to schedule a visit with your dentist. They can remove the crown to get a closer look at the implant and identify the source of the problem. They will also probably take X-rays to see how your bone in the area is healing. Treatment varies depending on what is causing the looseness, but might include:
- Antibiotics to clear up any bacterial infections and reduce swelling in the gums
- Ceasing smoking, as this habit definitely contributes to dental implant failure
- Improving your oral hygiene habits, such as brushing twice a day and flossing
- Tightening the dental crown if that’s the part that’s moving
Can Your Dental Implant Be Saved?
In many cases, a prompt examination from your dentist can be enough to save your dental implant. Catching any problems early on means they are easier to treat. However, if the problem is the failure of osseointegration, you might be faced with a failed dental implant. If this is the case, you might be able to have a second implant done with the help of a bone graft.
Have more questions on loose dental implants? If so, schedule an appointment with Dr. Mann today. He can take a look at your implants and figure out why they're moving around.