Dental Implant Moving

Although dental implants have a very high success rate, as with any surgical procedure, there is some chance that you may develop complications or that the body will reject your dental implant. One of the biggest indicators that your dental implant may require additional support is if your implant is moving or loose. Nearly 98% of dental implant procedures are successful, however, you should be aware of indications that your dental implant may be comprised and know what steps to take to address and correct this issue.

To learn more about signs that your dental implant may require additional attention, please refer to the following.

What to Do if You Notice Your Dental Implant is Moving

Unlike your natural teeth, which move a bit because they are attached to periodontal ligament, which is a soft, pliable, stretchy tissue, dental implants are secured directly to your jawbone, which means they should remain firmly in place. If your implant is moving more than one hundredth of an inch, this is an indication that there is an underlying issue, and you should schedule an evaluation with your periodontist as soon as possible.

A healthy dental implant should not move on its own or while placing pressure on it, either while chewing or talking. If you have noticed movement of your dental implant, it is important that you avoid trying to adjust it with your fingers or press against it with your tongue, as doing could result in your implant completely coming out of place and you requiring emergency dental care. Although it may be your natural impulse to do so, creating any additional pressure onto the implant can result in loss of bone tissue and result in the implant moving even more. It is also important to not attempt to pull the implant out on your own, as doing so may damage the soft tissues, the bone the implant was attached to, or surrounding healthy teeth.

Reasons for a Moving Dental Implant

There may be several different underlying reasons why this moment is occurring, but the two most common are due to an issue with your bone tissue or because of a structural issue with the implant itself. One common reason why a dental implant may move is because the screw has loosened. In some models of dental implants, there is a small screw the connects the implant and the crown together. When this screw becomes loose, the crown can also become loose and start to move. Fortunately, this is a relatively simple fix and will only require that your crown have a new hole drilled into for the screw to access. While every case is different, if this is the underlying issue, it can typically be resolved in as quickly as ten minutes.

Another issue that may develop is when a part of the crown or abutment breaks as a result of large biting forces. This very rarely happens, but if it does happen, the solution is relatively simple, though it may be a bit costly. While your dental implant may be unaffected by this issue, it may be necessary to have a new crown and abutment fashioned and installed, which may take a few weeks to complete. If, however, the underlying issue is that your dental implant has fractured, it will be necessary to remove it and replace a new implant with the broken one.

Other signs of an implant problem that are important to be aware of include:

  • Infection around the implant
  • Bleeding around nearby gum tissue or around the implant
  • Pain or discomfort around the implant
  • Pain or discomfort of the gums
  • Difficulty biting or chewing
  • Loss of bone around your jaw

How to Manage a Dental Implant that is Moving

It is important to be seen by your periodontist as soon possible if your dental implant is moving. If you are not able to be evaluated by your periodontist, placing an ice pack for fifteen minute intervals over the area of discomfort can help alleviate discomfort and inflammation. It is important, however, to wrap the ice in a towel and not apply it directly to your skin. Over-the-counter pain medication can also be taken to help manage discomfort or pain.

If you are not able to see your periodontist right away, it is also very important that you stick to a soft food diet and avoid chewing in the area where your implant is moving. If you are unable to be seen by your periodontist for an extended period of time for some reason, it is also important that you continue to practice good oral hygiene care to avoid developing additional issues such as peri implantitis, gum disease, or bone loss.

Even if you are not experiencing any discomfort or swelling, it is still essential that you be evaluated by your periodontist. During this evaluation, they will remove your crown in order to better evaluate your implant. Diagnostic exams such as CT or X-rays will likely be taken to gather more information and determine the underlying reason why your implant is moving.

Once your periodontist has determine the underlying issue, they will discuss what treatment options are available and recommended, which may include any of the following, depending on the underlying issue:

  • Removal and insertion of a new dental implant if the underlying issue is severe
  • Replacing damaged parts of your implants
  • Removing the components of your dental implants to determine if any have become damaged or broken
  • Tightening your crown if the issue is with the crown and not the implant itself
  • Antibiotic treatment to reduce your risk of developing a bacterial infection.

Schedule an Appointment

If you have any additional questions about the dental implant process and what steps you should take if your dental implant is moving, contact your periodontist today. They can provide you with additional information about the dental implant process and address any additional concerns you may have.

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