Dental implants are successful in the vast majority of cases. Rarely, though, problems occur. If you have noticed that one of your implants has started to feel loose, you may be concerned — and rightly so. Without prompt treatment, there is a chance that your dental implant could end up failing. This article discusses what can cause a loose dental implant and what steps you should take to address the problem.
What Can Cause a Loose Dental Implant?
There are a few possible causes of a loose dental implant, including:
- A loose restoration. This has nothing to do with the implant itself. Rather, it is a problem with the artificial tooth (or teeth) attached to the implant. This can happen if the restoration suffers damage or if there were errors during the fabrication process.
- Failed osseointegration. If your implant feels loose shortly after your placement surgery, it is possible that it is not bonding properly with the surrounding bone. There are a few possible reasons behind failed osseointegration, including underlying health conditions that interfere with the body’s ability to heal.
- Infection. An infection called peri-implantitis can damage the gums and bone around an implant, compromising its base of support and causing it to loosen. Peri-implantitis can happen at any time, so patients must always be diligent about taking preventive measures against it (such as good oral hygiene and regular preventive dental visits).
Dealing with a Loose Dental Implant
When you notice that a dental implant feels loose, the first thing you should do is call a professional who can help you. If you recently had your implant surgery, get in touch with the surgeon who performed it. If it has been a while since your surgery and you suspect that you have an infection or that something is wrong with your restoration, contact your general dentist.
When you go in for your appointment, your doctor will examine your mouth and determine what your next steps should be. If your restoration is loose or damaged, you may need to get it replaced. If an infection is present, you may need antibiotic therapy or other restorative services.
In some cases, such as if the jawbone has suffered significant damage or deterioration, a patient must undergo surgery to have their dental implant completely removed. Then, after a healing period, it might be possible to place a new implant. Some patients also require a bone graft or other procedures before they can receive a replacement implant.
A loose dental implant is cause for concern, but there is no need to panic. If you promptly seek treatment, there is a good chance that your oral health — and your restored smile — will soon be thriving once again.
Meet the Practice
Dr. James Kalina is a highly experienced general dentist in Mankato. He partners with local specialists to provide a full range of dental implant treatments, including care for failed or loose-feeling implants. If you have any questions or concerns about your oral health, our team would be happy to assist you. Contact our office at 507-625-2021.