Is a Loose Dental Implant an Emergency?

Dental implants are used to replace entire missing teeth, and are made of materials that are extremely sturdy and durable. However, there is a small chance that your dental implant can become loose. If this is the case, an emergency dental consultation is required as soon as possible as there isn’t only a risk of the implant falling out, but can also severely increase the chances of infection.

Signs of a loose dental implant include pain while chewing, the implant physically moving when touched, and even bleeding from the site of the implant. If you notice any of these signs, you should consult your dentist immediately to prevent the implant from completely falling out.

Why is My Dental Implant Wobbly?

There can be multiple different causes for a wobbly dental implant. Everything from trauma and improper placement, to infection or gum disease can lead to an implant feeling loose. Early signs of a loose implant can point towards improper binding of the implant, whereas signs that occur years later are usually caused by physical damage. Imaging is usually needed to find the exact cause.

What Do I Do If My Dental Implant is Loose?

If you notice signs of a loose dental implant, it is important to call your dentist for an appointment immediately. Also, avoid eating any chewy or hard foods as this can cause your dental implant to become loose even further.

At your appointment your dentist will perform x-rays to determine what part of the implant is loose, as well as determine if there is an underlying cause for your implant becoming loose in the first place like bone or gum disease.

Usually the implant is loose because of one of two issues: a loose implant root or a loose crown. A loose crown is easier to fix and can involve either creating a new crown, or fixing an internal connector called an abutment that allows the crown to stay in place. However, if the implant root is loose, that means the implant is at a much greater chance of completely falling out; this, unfortunately, requires a more extensive procedure to replace the entirety of the implant. 

Can a Loose Dental Implant Fall Out?

If your loose implant isn’t given prompt attention and care, it can certainly fall out and could potentially lead to an expensive replacement. If the implant has fallen out, it is important to contact your emergency dentist as soon as possible and be sure to save the parts of the implant that have fallen out if possible. While waiting for your consultation, avoid chewing foods on the side of where the implant was and avoid highly sugary, acidic beverages that could cause further damage.

The best way to prevent a dental implant from becoming loose in the first place, however, is to maintain proper oral hygiene, have regular appointments with your dentist, and avoid foods that could cause damage like hard candies.