Loose teeth might be cute when you’re a kid, but as an adult, your teeth should stay firmly rooted in their sockets. If you have dental implants, you know this already, since you’ve lost one or more teeth. If your tooth loss was the result of loose teeth, you certainly don’t want to go through that whole ordeal again! Let’s take a closer look at the causes, symptoms, and treatment options for loose dental implants.
Why is Your Dental Implant Loose?
Your implant could come loose for a few reasons, such as:
- Peri-implantitis. This is the most common type of gum diseases associated with dental implants. If you notice any signs of gum disease early enough, antibiotics and improved oral hygiene could save the implant. If the disease is far enough along, however, the implant may need to be removed and your gum disease treated before it can be replaced.
- Bone loss. Sometimes the implant fails to integrate into the jawbone because there is bone loss in the area. Most failed implants happen within the first year because the osseointegration was not successful.
- Loose crown. What might feel like a loose implant might actually just be a loose crown, the tooth-shaped cap that tops the implant. Your dentist might have to just tighten or replace the crown and not the implant itself.
How Can You Recognize a Loose Dental Implant?
If you notice the implant is moving around, that’s an obvious sign that it’s loose. Other symptoms may include:
- Discoloration in the area
- Bleeding when touched
- Visible bone loss
What Can Your Implant Dentist Do?
If you notice any of the signs listed above, be sure to let your implant dentist know as soon as possible. He or she may be able to treat it without replacing the entire thing. By removing the crown, they can clean the area and determine whether just the crown of the whole implant needs to be tightened or replaced.
What Happens If You Don’t Treat a Loose Dental Implant?
If you have a loose dental implant, you are more likely to contract a bacterial infection in that area, especially if you already have gum disease or a weakened immune system. This infection could easily spread to your gums and other teeth, causing them to fall out. Worst case scenario, it reaches other parts of your body, like your heart and brain, and causes serious problems there.
Although it sounds scary, having a loose dental implant is entirely treatable if you alert your dentist to the situation as soon as possible. If any of the symptoms described above sound familiar, let your implant dentist know right away.
About the Author
Dr. Robert Shick provides realistic-looking dental implants to his patients in the Millburn, NJ area. His expertise means you won’t have to be referred to an outside specialist for your implant surgery. Many of his patients report that implant placed by him look and feel just like their old natural teeth. To learn more about how to take care of dental implants, or if you’re interested in replacing your missing teeth, contact Dr. Shick on his website or by calling (973) 921-9097.