Dental implants are a great way to replace missing teeth and restore your beautiful smile. They are titanium posts surgically implanted into your jawbone and act as the root of the tooth, helping to maintain the structure of your face, provide stability for your artificial teeth, and offer a more natural-looking smile.
According to the American Academy of Implant Dentistry, over 3 million people in the United States have dental implants, and that number is growing by 500,000 every year. While dental implants are a popular and effective option for replacing missing teeth, they can sometimes become loose or unstable.
If a dental implant is not appropriately secured, it can become loose and could potentially fall out. This often happens when the implant is not placed correctly or if the patient does not follow aftercare instructions.
It is important to seek immediate dental care if you suspect your dental implant is loose. This will help to ensure that your implant remains secure and that your overall dental health is not compromised.
But how do they become loose? Let’s find out.
4 Causes of Loose Dental Implants
Dental implants can become loose for various reasons, such as improper placement, infection, overuse or wear and tear, and insufficient jawbone support.
Improper placement of dental implants can lead to an improper fit between the implant and the jawbone, which can cause the implant to loosen over time.
Infection of the implant site can also cause loosening of the dental implant, as can gum disease that has not been treated.
Overuse or wear and tear
Overuse and wear and tear of the implant can also result in it becoming loose, as can trauma to the jaw or mouth.
Insufficient jawbone support
Insufficient jawbone support can cause the implant to become loose, as can the natural resorption of the jawbone over time.
There are several causes of loose dental implants; now take a look at the following signs and symptoms that’ll let you know that your implant is loose.
Signs and Symptoms of a Loose Dental Implant
It is important to be aware of potential signs and symptoms of a loose dental implant, so you can act swiftly and get it fixed as soon as possible.
Pain or discomfort
Pain or discomfort may be felt at the implant site or in the surrounding gum tissue.
Shifting or movement of the implant
Shifting or movement of the implant may be felt when biting down or when eating.
Difficulty biting or chewing
Difficulty biting or chewing can cause the implant to become loose, so it’s important to be aware of any changes in your bite.
Gum inflammation or swelling
Gum inflammation or swelling can indicate a loose dental implant and require prompt attention.
If you feel any of the above signs or symptoms, the following tips will help you manage your loose dental implant.
What to Do If You Suspect Your Dental Implant Is Loose?
If you suspect that your dental implant is loose, it is essential to take immediate action to prevent further damage or complications.
Contact your dentist immediately
If you suspect your dental implant is loose, it’s important to contact your dentist immediately. Your dentist can assess the situation and determine the best course of action.
Avoid chewing on the affected side
Avoid chewing on the affected side to help reduce the risk of further damage and give your dentist the best chance to fix the issue.
Take over-the-counter pain medication if necessary
If you experience discomfort or pain due to a loose dental implant, take over-the-counter pain medication as directed. This will help to reduce the pain and make your appointment more comfortable.
Rinse your mouth with warm salt water
Rinsing your mouth with warm salt water is a great way to reduce any discomfort or pain associated with a loose dental implant. This can help to reduce inflammation and make your appointment more comfortable.
What are the Treatment Options for Loose Dental Implants?
If your dental implant feels loose after the procedure, there are several options for treatment.
Our dental implant specialists at Hanna Dental may recommend tightening or adjusting the implant, prescribing antibiotics to treat infection, or bone grafting to improve jawbone support. In some cases, a complete implant replacement may be necessary.
Your dentist may tighten or adjust the implant
If the implant feels loose, your dentist can adjust it to make it more secure. Adjusting the implant is a straightforward procedure that doesn’t require a lengthy recovery time.
You may be given antibiotics to treat the infection
If an infection is present at the implant site, an antibiotic may be prescribed to clear it up. Antibiotic treatment can help reduce inflammation and prevent further damage to the implant.
Your dentist may have to perform bone grafting to improve jawbone support
Bone grafting may be recommended if there is insufficient jawbone structure to support the implant. The grafting procedure helps strengthen the jawbone and improve the longevity of the implant.
Your implant may have to be replaced
In some cases, a complete implant replacement may be necessary. Our dentists can discuss the best course of action for your individual case.
Prevention of Loose Dental Implants
To prevent loose dental implants, take a look at the following tips to help prolong the lifespan of your dental implant.
Follow good oral hygiene practices
Good oral hygiene practices are also essential to ensure the stability of dental implants. This includes brushing, flossing, and using an antiseptic mouthwash regularly.
Go for regular dental checkups
Regular dental checkups are important to ensure the longevity of dental implants, as well as to detect any potential issues early on.
Avoid hard or sticky foods
Avoiding hard or sticky foods is important to prevent dental implants from being damaged or dislodged.
Smoking can negatively impact dental implants’ longevity, so it is best to quit smoking to ensure their stability.
FAQs: Loose Dental Implants
How Long After Dental Implants Can I Eat Normally?
A dental implant is a great way to replace missing teeth and return to eating normally. Depending on the type of dental implant and the healing process, it can take anywhere from 3-6 months for the implant to be secure enough to eat normally. During the healing process, following your dentist’s instructions and avoiding hard, chewy, or sticky foods that could damage the implant is important.
Can a Loose Dental Implant Be Repaired?
In some cases, a loose dental implant can be repaired. Depending on the severity of the issue, it may be possible to re-tighten the implant. However, in some cases, it may be necessary to replace the implant altogether. It is important to consult your dentist to determine the best course of action.
What to Do If My Implant Moves?
If your implant moves, contacting your dentist as soon as possible is important. Your dentist will be able to assess the situation and determine the best course of action. This could include tightening or replacing the implant.
Does a Loose Implant Hurt?
A loose implant can cause discomfort, but it is not typically painful. If you experience any pain or discomfort, it is important to contact your dentist as soon as possible.
What Happens When an Implant is Loose?
When an implant is loose, it can cause the surrounding tissues to become irritated and inflamed. This could lead to infection if not addressed. It is important to contact your dentist as soon as possible to assess the situation and provide the correct treatment.
How Do You Know If Your Implant Is Out of Place?
If your implant is out of place, you may experience discomfort or pain in the implant area. Additionally, the implant may appear to be loose or shifted. If you experience any of these symptoms, it is important to contact your dentist as soon as possible.
Is It Normal for Implants to Move?
It is not normal for implants to move. If your implant moves, it is important to contact your dentist right away to assess the situation and determine the best course of action.
After dental implants, you can typically start to eat normally within the first week. However, the exact time frame for healing can vary from person to person.
Dental implants provide a robust and long-lasting solution for missing teeth. With proper care, dental implants can last for many years. Still, seeking prompt and professional dental care after receiving dental implants is essential to ensure the best possible healing outcomes.
At Hanna Dental, we use the latest technology and techniques to ensure our patients get the highest quality dental implants. In most cases, patients are able to eat normally within a few weeks after implantation. It’s important to follow the advice of your dentist to help ensure a successful recovery.