It is a fact that dental implants can last a lifetime. However, this doesn’t mean that they cannot fail. Although most patients enjoy their implants for years and years without inconveniences, we want you to be ready if you encounter this unexpected problem.
Which Part of the Implant Fell Out?
The first step is to get a clear idea of your dental problem. Dental implants have different parts, and identifying which one fell out is essential to understand why this happened and which steps need to be followed to fix the problem:
- The crown. The crown is the visible part of the dental implant, which looks like the crown of your natural teeth. If the crown is not extensively damaged, this issue can be fixed in a few minutes. However, if the restoration is damaged beyond repair, you might need a replacement.
- The abutment. The abutment is the little screw that connects the crown to the dental implants. These screws can get loose over time, so as long as everything else is ok, our dentist can replace the abutment in a short visit to our office.
- The implant. The implants are the titanium posts that are surgically placed into the jawbone, replacing the root of the missing tooth. This complication is the worst-case scenario, as replacing an implant is not as easy as replacing a crown or an abutment. Our surgeon needs to identify why the implant failed in the first place and then evaluate if it is possible to place a new one in the near future.
Although identifying the different parts of the dental implant can be confusing, it is necessary to ensure you make the right appointment to get it fixed. One good way to help our front office team to identify the problem is to take a picture of the part that fell out of your mouth and send it via text message or email.
Reasons Why Dental Implants Might Fail
Some of the most common reasons why implants fall out are:
- Bacterial infection: implants are as susceptible to bacterial infection as other natural teeth. When bacteria colonize the surface of the implant, they cause an infection known as “peri-implantitis,” which can cause multiple inconveniences in the long run.
- Trauma: although dental implants are fused into the jawbone, severe trauma can induce a fracture in this fusion and the consequent implant loss.
- Dental implant fracture: this is a rare mechanical problem caused by the metal’s fatigue.
- Unbalanced bite: an unbalanced bite force that puts too much stress on the dental implant can lead to the fracture or loss of the implant.
- Loss of bone and/or gum tissue: just like natural teeth, if the tissues that anchor the implant disappear for some reason (usually an infection), the implant gets loose or directly falls out.
- Problems in the osseointegration: sometimes, the implants fall out from the very beginning because this physiological process fails at some point, and the implant isn’t fully integrated into the bone tissue.
How to Take Good Care of Dental Implants
To prevent these inconveniences, we advise our patients to maintain excellent oral hygiene and visit the office regularly for dental check-ups and professional cleanings. When it comes to dental implants, prevention is better than cure!
Did Your Implant Fall Out? We’re Here to Help.
If you are having this or any other inconvenience with your dental implants, please get in contact with our office in Austin, TX. At Hill Country Oral Surgery, our oral surgeons will find out why the implant is failing and propose a treatment plan to recover your smile as soon as possible!