My Dental Implant Feels Loose: What Should I Do?

Dentist holding a model of a dental implant.

Sporting an impressive success rate of over 95%, dental implants in Estero are the premier option when it comes to replacing missing teeth! These awesome little implants are able to perfectly restore lost pearly whites in terms of look, feel, and functionality. That said, we live in an imperfect world and there are certain things that can cause dental implants to fail. And when this happens to you and your implants, your smile is in danger! Keep reading to learn a little more about why dental implants can sometimes become loose, along with what you should do in the situation.

What Causes a Dental Implant to Become Loose?

Despite them being surgically implanted into your jawbone, dental implants can still become loose for a variety of reasons! Some of the common ones include:

  • Osseointegration failure – Your dental implants undergo a process called osseointegration to fuse with your jawbone; but this process doesn’t always work. Sometimes the body’s natural healing ability is impaired, or the implant is placed under undue pressure. Other times the implant is placed in an area with insufficient bone density. Simply put, if the titanium post of your implant can’t fuse with your jawbone for whatever reason, your implant will inevitably loosen and fail.
  • Infection – Another common cause for implant failure is infection. Peri-implantitis is an infection similar to gum disease that attacks the gum tissue surrounding the implant. The gums become inflamed, and the implant’s support is compromised. This can happen either during the surgery itself or months or years after the implant has been placed.
  • Overloading – This occurs when freshly placed implants are subjected to high amounts of pressure that negatively impacts osseointegration.  It usually happens when patients are receiving their false teeth at the same time that the implants are placed, or in any case when the implants are disturbed during their healing period due to excess pressure.
  • Loose or poorly made prosthetics – It’s also not uncommon for the prosthetics themselves to fail—whether it’s a loose screw or cement, wear and tear, or poor fitting in the first place, dental implants can shift out of place or loosen over time on their own.

What Should I Do About a Loose Dental Implant?

If you suspect that your dental implant is loose, you should contact your dentist right away—it’s not something that will correct itself! Your dentist will be able to inspect your implant and assess the situation before coming up with an appropriate course of action. In some cases, the restoration can simply be refitted or replaced as necessary. But if the problem lies within the surrounding tissue, additional treatment steps might be required.

Since dental implants can become loose for a variety of reasons, it’s best to let your dentist determine the cause of the issue and how to address it. That said, quickly contacting them and getting the help you need will ensure that your smile isn’t in any long-term jeopardy.

About the Practice

Smile Rejuvenations of Southwest Florida proudly serves the dental needs of the Estero area. The practice is led by Dr. Breanne Anderson, who combines several years of experience and expertise to provide her patients with an exceptional level of dental care. Her practice is pleased to offer many available services including dental implants. If you have any questions about the article or believe your dental implant might be loose, don’t hesitate to contact the practice online or over the phone: (239) 300-2767.