Dental implants are designed to last a lifetime. They’re not supposed to fall out, and when placed by an experienced oral surgeon, there’s very little chance of that happening.
However, we occasionally get calls from patients requesting help for an implanted tooth that has fallen out. Why does this happen?
An Issue with the Implant Abutment
Dental implants are constructed with three components:
- The titanium post, a screw-like piece that is placed in the jawbone to function as a root for the implanted tooth
- The ceramic crown, the visible part of the implant designed to closely resemble nearby teeth
- The implant abutment, the component that connects the artificial tooth root to the crown
When a patient thinks that their implanted tooth has fallen out, it’s this last part — the abutment — that’s typically to blame. This is good news, as oral surgeons can usually solve the problem by placing a new abutment and reattaching the crown.
Failure of the Titanium Implant Post
It is quite rare for the dental implant post to become loose. However, if it does, it is generally due to a complication during osseointegration, the three- to six-month process in which the titanium post fuses to the surrounding jawbone tissue.
But when this happens, the implant post doesn’t just suddenly fall out. Before a replacement tooth root reaches the point of failure, patients realize there’s a problem. Noticeable warning signs include:
- A feeling that the implanted tooth isn’t stable
- Pain occurring months after implant surgery
- Bleeding and inflammation in the gum tissues
- Receding gum tissues around the implant
- Difficulty or discomfort when biting and chewing
What to Do if Your Dental Implant Falls Out
Any issue with an implanted tooth should prompt an immediate call to your oral surgeon. You want to keep your dental implants in place, and addressing problems early on makes them easier to solve.
If part of your implant has fallen out, bring it to your appointment with your oral surgeon. In the meantime, keep food away from the area where the replacement tooth is located and use an alcohol-free, antibacterial mouthwash or rinse. And above all, try not to worry — oral surgeons are experts in tooth restoration, and getting professional attention as soon as possible means that complete implant failure is highly unlikely.
Do you have a problem with an implanted tooth? If you’re in the greater east central Indiana area, turn to Richmond Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. Our oral surgeons have more than 10 years of experience in implant surgery, and we know how to resolve issues, address complications and help patients get beautiful, functional smiles.
To schedule a dental implant treatment consultation, contact Richmond Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery today.