Dental Implant Fell Out
Dental implants are a popular treatment option for patients with missing teeth for a variety of reasons, one of which is their high success rate. In addition to being supported by decades of research, advancements in dental technology have made the success rate of dental implants continue to increase. That being said, there are still instances when a dental implant will fail, or circumstances may cause the implant to fall out. If your dental implant has fallen out or feels loose, it is important to schedule an appointment with your periodontist as soon as possible. In addition to potentially saving your implant, your periodontist will also be able to determine what the underlying reason for the implant falling out is and recommend treatment.
The most important thing to keep in mind if your dental implant falls out is to not panic. Obviously, the loss of an implant or natural tooth can be a very jarring experience, however, as this can happen to anyone, it is important to have a game plan in place should you find yourself in this scenario. It is important to carefully gather whatever fell out and call your periodontist as soon as possible. If your periodontist is not able to see you right away, make sure you avoid chewing on the side where your implant was, and if rinsing your mouth, be sure to use a mouth rinse that does not contain alcohol in it.
What Will Happen During My Appointment?
The first thing your periodontist will do during your appointment is to ask for details on what caused the implant to fall out. You should be prepared to answer questions like, “Had you noticed any issues with the implant before, like feeling loose or tender” or “Were you eating anything when the implant came out, and if so, what was it?”
Following this, your periodontist will evaluate your implant and mouth to determine what part of the implant came out and what may have caused the implant to fall out. If the crown is the only thing that came loose or fell out, it may be possible to simply screw it back on again. If the abutment has become damaged, it may need to be replaced, and if the implant itself has become damaged, this may be an indication of loss of bone and/or advanced periodontal disease. It may be possible to reverse periodontal disease if it is caught early on, but in these more extreme cases it may be necessary to remove the implant entirely and put a new one in.
In addition to a physical evaluation, your periodontist will also likely take diagnostic exams like X-Rays to gather more information about potential causes of your implant falling out. Once this information has been evaluated and the cause determined, your periodontist will discuss treatment options.
Signs to Watch Out For
Unless your implant was knocked out due to physical trauma, in most cases an implant will first become loosened before it falls out. If you have noticed that your implant feels loose, you should schedule an appointment with your periodontist as soon as possible, especially if it has been some time since your last visit. Other symptoms that may indicate an issue with your implant include bleeding, visible loss of bone, discoloration around the implant site, and/or pain or discomfort. If any of these issues persist, they should be addressed sooner than later.
Why It Is Important To Fix a Loose Dental Implant
Once a dental implant falls out or becomes loosened, there are more than 500 different species of bacteria that can potentially enter your heart, neck and brain, which, though unlikely, does carry the possibility of a person developing a potentially fatal medical condition. While this is the most extreme case, there are additional oral health issues that can develop if an implant is not replaced, such as further jawbone deterioration which can result in the loss of additional teeth, severe gum recession, and periodontal disease.
Caring For Your Dental Implant
One of the most common misconceptions patients have about dental implants is that they do not require the same level of care as your natural teeth. This could not be further from the truth! Care for your dental implant is essential moving forward, but it is especially important during your recovery and healing process following placement of your dental implant.
In addition to falling out, the most common problems that may occur if you do not properly care for your dental implant include:
- Infection: If dental implants are not properly taken care of, the risk of infection increases significantly. If an infection does occur, treatment may be as simple as antibiotics and/or a soft tissue graft, whereas a more serious infection that develops in the bone may result in needing to remove the implant and/or infected bone tissue.
- Gum recession: Gum recession can occur around the area of the implant, which can cause pain and inflammation, and if untreated, the eventual failure of the implant. If you have noticed gum recession around your implant, this may be corrected with a gum graft or Pinhole Surgical Technique.
- Peri-implantitis: Patients who have developed peri-implantitis (gum disease that causes bone loss in the area of bone supporting the implant) will often exhibit symptoms such as swelling or bleeding around the dental implant site. If you notice any of these symptoms it is important to schedule an appointment to have your implant evaluated as soon as possible.
Schedule an Appointment Today!
If your dental implant has fallen out, or even if it feels loose, it is important to contact your periodontist as soon as possible. If the issue is dealt with quickly and early enough, it may be possible for your periodontist to place your dental implant back in. In addition to potentially saving your implant, this appointment is also be a good opportunity to have your overall oral health looked at, especially if the implant did not fall out for any identifiable reason.