Dental Implant Fell Out
One of the main advantages of dental implants over other replacement tooth options is that they are meant to be permanent. Once the dentist completes the process of surgically placing the implanted post and attaching the dental crown, you should be able to use the dental implant like a natural tooth while eating, drinking, talking and caring for your oral health. If you are reading this article, then you yourself may be trying to deal with the next steps of why your dental implant came out. You may be reading this to help someone else with their loose implant or you are looking at your options for tooth replacement and the problems associated with each. No matter the case, the answer is: no, dental implants are designed to remain in place in your jaw without moving or shifting. If it is showing any signs of falling out or loosening, then you need to address the problem before it worsens and gets more expensive to treat.
How to Care for Your Implants
In order to take care of your implants properly and minimize the risk of them falling out in the first place, you can take a few steps everyday to keep your mouth as healthy as possible. The initial effort you can make is keeping your bones strong; the implanted post fuses with your jawbone and needs the bone to maintain a certain density to remain in place. In general, as adults age, they lose bone mass so using vitamins and other treatments to slow it helps keep dental implants successful in the long term.
When you are choosing foods and snacks to include in your diet, you will want to avoid ones that will damage your dental implant. If your foods are too hard, when you bite down the pressure may cause the implant to fracture. If your foods are too sticky, they may get in between your gums and implant causing irritation. Both of those types of food can lead to your dental implant loosening or falling out over time.
Caring for your dental implant day to day the way that you care for your natural teeth can keep your teeth and gums healthy enough to support the implant. Brush twice a day, floss, use an oral rinse to remove remaining debris and keep regular dental appointments twice a year. These steps will minimize the opportunity for gum disease to cause serious and irreversible damage to your dental health.
What are the warning signs?
Dental implants typically display signs of loosening before they fall out so you will be able to trace the problem back to one or more causes. If you take care to act when the dental implant starts to show signs of becoming loose, then you can prevent the implant from falling out or having to address more serious, invasive procedures as the problem progresses. You should keep an eye out for any of the following indications that more problematic issues are coming your way down the line:
- Noticeable and visible bone loss
- Bleeding when the implant is touched
- Discolored gum tissue around the dental implant
If you contact the dentist when you start to see or feel these signs, then you can avoid the implant from coming out completely, serious infections, and expensive procedures to restore your mouth to its current condition. The dentist will be able to keep the implant in place, right where its supposed to be.
What happens if you don’t address a loose dental implant?
If you choose to ignore the loose implant or delay the treatment, the implant will fall out and you may need to replace the whole apparatus and repeat the previous surgery. If you choose to let your loose dental implant fall out and to avoid dental treatment, you may be ignoring a potentially fatal medical condition. A variety of different bacteria, up to 500 species, will have access to your neck, brain, heart, and bones leaving you susceptible to sepsis. This may seem like a scare tactic, but it is an honest and possible result of ignoring important dental treatment.
What do I do if my implant does come out?
Dental implants are successful long term for more than 90% of the adults who turn to them for tooth replacement but they can and do fail from time to time. If your dental implant falls out, it is important to follow up with the dentist right away. Depending on the reason for your dental implant failure, the dentist may be able to re-insert your same dental implant. If your crown is the component of the dental implant that has fallen out or become loose, this is the least serious of cases. If your crown is not damaged, then the dentist will be able to reattach it via the screw and/or dental cement. If the abutment or the piece that attaches the implanted post to the crown is damaged, the dentist should be able to replace the abutment, depending on the type of the dental implant that was used.
The most serious and complicated issues arise when the dental implant is moving below the gum line. The dentist may use an x-ray to determine the reason why the post is not in its original place. Periodontal disease and loss of bone density are often the culprits. When the dentist is able to treat your periodontal disease early enough, antibiotics and oral treatments can help stop the progress and allow the dentist to re-insert the implant after the inflammation has subsided.
Only the dentist will be able to determine which piece of your dental implant is problematic and the reason for the movement where there isn’t supposed to be any. Once the dentist has reviewed your mouth and the x-rays, the dentist can review the options to address the root cause. If the dentist is not able to offer you another dental implant procedure as a tooth replacement, the dentist can review the alternatives with you to make the best choice for your lifestyle.
If your dental implant has fallen out, try not to panic even though you may not know what to do next. If you remain calm, you will have the best chance at not aggravating the problem further. Here are some helpful tips to keep your mouth as safe as possible between now and the appointment with the dentist:
- Save any of the pieces that fell out to bring to the dentist
- Contact the dentist immediately for a follow up appointment
- If you need to eat, do not chew on the side of the missing implant
- Be sure to rinse your mouth multiple times a day to keep the wound clean, but avoid a rinse that does not have alcohol.