A: Generally speaking, no. However, an implant behaves pretty much like a tooth—it’s integrated in the bone. So, if the implant is loose, it’s going to be caused by an infection, which the infection can cause pain.
So, it really depends; sometimes the implant, if it’s just the crown of the implant and that’s loose, that’s definitely not an emergency—but we’d love to see you and take care of you.
But, if it’s the implant body itself and there’s pain associated with it, then definitely, that’s an emergency.
Despite dental implants having a mind-blowing success rate of over 97%, that doesn’t mean there aren’t rare cases of failures. In these rare cases, the most common sign of implant failure patients experience is the implant feeling loose.
So what should you do if your implant feels loose? Well, the first thing is, don’t panic. When dealing with a loose implant, often, the implants aren’t what’s loose—the crown is. However, if you’re sure the implant is indeed loose, you would need to find an emergency dentist in San Antonio ASAP.
Loose implants are usually caused by an infection and that can spell trouble if you don’t handle it quickly. By seeing an emergency dentist in San Antonio right away, you can mitigate your risk for serious and permanent damage. In these cases, the dental implant normally has to be removed and allowed to heal to prevent jawbone damage. Once it’s healed a new implant can be installed in its place.
Implant Issues For An Emergency Dentist In San Antonio
There’s a few reasons why an implant might come loose. It could be from improper care or something out of your control. Either way, you should contact the emergency dentist in San Antonio that you trust.
The Implant Fails To Bond
Once the titanium post (implant) has been placed into your jawbone, it should begin bonding with your natural bone. Titanium is biocompatible, meaning your body will not reject it.
However, if your body’s natural healing ability is hindered by diseases such as uncontrolled diabetes, for example, that may not happen. Additionally, if the implant is not placed properly and is under excessive pressure, bonding can also fail. Typically, this bond failure would present itself rather quickly, soon after the implant procedure.
Another often cited reason for implant failure is an oral infection called peri-implantitis. It’s similar to gum disease that occurs around natural teeth. Just like gum disease, it’s caused by bacteria that attack your gum tissue.
Sometimes, this can occur during the procedure itself, however, more often than not, it occurs some time after, even years. It usually is the result of bad oral hygiene, and in rare cases, the cement used to secure the crown. What follows is gum inflammation that compromises the jawbone which causes the implant to come loose.
Any type of infection is a reason to drop everything and see an emergency dentist in San Antonio ASAP.
This can happen when you first have implants installed and too much pressure is put on them. This greatly impacts bonding and can cause numerous problems. Typically, it happens when a patient is getting their restorations at the same time as the implants. It can add too much pressure on the abutments which naturally puts pressure on the implant. Pressure on the implant as we just discussed, is a common reason for implants failing to bond.
Loose Or Low-Quality Prosthetics
When installed properly and with high-quality components, prosthetics mounted on your implants should remain extremely secure. However, if they are not mounted properly or are of poor quality, they could become loose and unstable. This has a domino effect that includes causing the implant to come loose and become unstable.
When a prosthetic shifts in the mouth due to instability, it puts pressure on the implant. If you haven’t been following along—that is BAD. It will ultimately lead to implant removal and replacement if not dealt with immediately.
The top part of your implant has a hollowed-out area where the abutment screws into. The abutment is an attachment that is exposed from the gum. It is essentially a mount for the restorative crown, which is the part of the tooth people see. Sometimes that abutment can come loose and will need to be diagnosed to find out what’s causing it.
While on the subject, the abutment is where the crown is mounted with special cement. Sometimes, the seal can break, which causes the crown to come unglued. Fortunately, this is not an emergency and can be taken care of with a regular appointment.
Gum Disease and Bone Atrophy
Developing gum disease around your dental implant (peri-implantitis) is a critical condition. The infection that spreads from this condition erodes the jawbone that’s securing the implant in place. Bone atrophy sets in and the bone can deteriorate to a point in which the implant has no support at all.
Naturally, the implant becomes so loose that it usually falls out just like natural teeth would. There’s no wait-and-see on this. Get to an emergency dentist in San Antonio STAT! Your overall health is at risk if that infection spreads into the bloodstream.
What Are The Symptoms?
Even if you’re not sure if your dental implant is loose or about to fall out, call us anyway. There are other symptoms of loose or failing implants that might have been going on long before. Some of these symptoms are not as obvious as you think they’d be. Pay attention to signs such as:
- Minor pain (will continue to escalate)
- Obvious or subtle bone loss
- Bleeding gums
- Gum tissue discoloration around the implant
The reason why it’s important to contact an emergency dentist regardless is that a loose crown can present the same symptoms as well. Of course a loose crown isn’t as serious, but you never know which it is—better to be safe than sorry.
Consequences Of An Untreated Loose Dental Implant
If you fail to take care of a loose implant the consequences can go far beyond your oral health. In fact, the resulting problems can be life-changing or fatal. For example, an infection can quickly and easily spread to your bloodstream. When this happens your blood carries that infection to every organ in your body hitting you with a massive blow at once.
If you already have a compromised immune system, the consequences are that much more dangerous. Don’t risk it, see a dentist ASAP.
Implant Troubles? Come See The Top Emergency Dentist In San Antonio!
If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms above with your dental implant, don’t hesitate to address it. Book with Dr. E online to make sure your implant issue is in the hands of an expert who can turn the situation around for you!