A dental implant provides a durable and permanent tooth replacement option, making it the preferred choice for many people. The implant is actually the metal post that is inserted into the jaw, with the crown being the part that looks like a tooth and is attached to the implant post. A real concern is when either the implant or crown becomes loose. The following can help you decide the right course of action if this happens to you.
Is the implant or the crown loose?
In most cases it is the crown that becomes loose. This isn't a major concern as long as the implant post is secure. Avoid the urge to play with or wiggle the crown, though, since this could loosen it further. Instead, make an appointment with a dentist to have it repaired.
How can you tell which is loose?
Unless trauma was involved, a loose crown shouldn't be painful. A loose implant post, on the other hand, means that the bond between the post and your jaw bone is failing. This is often accompanied by pain or inflammation. Your gums around the implant may also look red or swollen. If there is any pain, or if trauma occurred, schedule an emergency visit with your dentist. The implant may need to be removed or you may require immediate treatment for a bone or gum infection.
Can a loose crown be tightened?
This depends. A crown is attached by a screw cap being inserted into the implant post. Then, the crown is affixed to this screw cap with an adhesive. This means that the dentist can't simply twist the crown to tighten it – there is no room to do so due to the neighboring teeth. In some instances, your dentist can remove the crown from the cap without causing damage. They then replace the cap, remove the old adhesive from the crown, and then glue it back in place. If the crown suffers any damage or has to be broken in order to remove it, then your dentist will need to make a new crown.
What options are there if the implant post is loose?
Usually this means that the implant is failing. If your dentist determines that this is the case, the implant is removed and any infection is treated. You then have a couple of options. If you heal with minimal bone loss, your dentist may try a second implant. If you have a successful implant next to the failed implant, then your dentist may simple remove the crown from that implant and place a double crown on the successful post. For those with only the one implant, a bridge between the neighboring healthy teeth to hold a crown is another options.
For more help, contact an implant dentist or a clinic like Oral Surgery Center.