Dental implants are the top tooth replacement on the market. It’s estimated that over 500,000 people each year restore their smiles with this treatment. In addition to their superior functionality and lifelike appearance, dental implants have a success rate of 95%, even after 10 years! However, there is still a slight chance they could become loose or fail. Here’s what to know about what could cause this issue and what to do next to help your smile!

How Can a Dental Implant Become Loose?

In general, dental implants are only likely to become loose during the first few weeks after your placement. Yet, there can still be a small number of cases where the restoration can fail months– or even years– after they are placed. Though it’s likely for the implant to naturally begin to integrate with the jawbone (a process called osseointegration), there are some factors that can interrupt or damage the process, such as:

  • Decay or infection in nearby natural teeth
  • Gum disease
  • Peri-implantitis
  • Facial trauma
  • Bruxism (teeth grinding)
  • Poorly constructed prosthetics or abutments

Your Next Steps

You may feel your implant slightly move or become loose while chewing, speaking, biting, or brushing up against it with your tongue. Even if it is just a minor movement, you should contact your dentist as soon as possible. After explaining the situation, they can lead you to what to do in the immediate moment and also schedule an appointment. It’s essential to reach out to your dentist right away; if you address a loose implant early on, it gives you a chance to keep it from failing completely.

Treatment for a Loose Dental Implant

Once arriving at your dental office, you will receive a thorough examination right away. They will check for signs of infection, inflammation, damage, or any other factors that could cause an implant to loosen. Additionally, they will take X-rays and/or digital images of your mouth so they can have a more in-depth look at the issue. After the evaluation, your dentist will be able to determine whether it’s an issue with the implant post, the abutment, or the restoration.

The good news is if the looseness was caused by the implant post or restoration, your dental implant is likely to be saved if you see your dentist in time. However, if your dental implant is loose due to bone loss or gum infection, your dentist will usually have to remove it. But all is not lost! Once the area in your mouth is healed, a new implant can be placed with the help of bone grafting or other recommended treatments.

While issues with your dental implant are unlikely, your dentist is always available to help with any problem that pops up, including looseness. By seeking help as soon as possible, you ensure your smile will remain healthy and beautiful for many years to come!

About the Author

Dr. Adam Geach and his team at Geach Dental are eager to help you with any of your oral health needs. He earned a Doctor of Dental Medicine from Harvard School of Dental Medicine and is a dental specialist in prosthodontics. With an in-house laboratory and the most advanced dental technology, he can help solve your dental implant issue, including looseness.

To schedule an appointment, contact him through his website or call (213) 810-3368.

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