Dental Implant Moving
When you finally have your dental crown perfectly fitted and set, and you are getting your life back, the last thing you want is to feel it wiggle. That awful feeling knowing that your crown is not set can be, well, unsettling. Do not fret, there are many possibilities for why this is happening, and often it is a very simple fix. If for some reason your crown has completely detached, try your best to grab it and not lose it, this will just save you time down the line. Your crown is probably made from industry best material, and there is certainly going to be a way to salvage it and get you smiling in no time.
What you should not do
If the implant has physically separated and comes loose, do not lose it. Keep it somewhere safe, like an empty pill bottle or jar, and make the appointment with your Dentist to have it reset. If you are just noticing some looseness or wobbling do not finick with it. We all remember when we were kids and you would just play and play with a loose tooth until it came out. If you continue to poke at it with your tongue or wiggle it in your mouth, the same thing might happen, but your implant is rooted into your jaw. You do not want to risk causing deep tissue damage in your jaw or gums. Your organic skin and jaw material will probably break before the titanium screw in you implant. Just say no to wiggling.
What you should do
Make your appointment, and get confirmation from your Dentist that they are aware of the issue. If you can speak to them directly, they may be able to pre diagnose the severity of the issue. Continue your dental hygiene routine, while potentially brushing that area a little more gingerly. Infections in your gums can lead to problems like loosening the fit of implants, so check for signs of infection or jaw/bone breakdown in the affected area. Ice the area off an on until you can see your dental professional. This may help any pain associated with the issue, and may be able to keep you from poking it with your tongue.
What could be going on
The screw on your implant has come loose.
Your implant itself is fine. The screw that secures the crown is simply loose, and will need to be tightened. This can be a very simple fix, and can be done same day. Either the crown already has an screw access hole, or one will need to be drilled. Your dentist will tighten the screw, check the security of the fit, and then recover the screw access with a filling material. If you are in the earlier stages of your dental implant, it is possible your implant healing cap has come loose. This will be replaced to negate and gum growth in that area.
A crown is loose
If your crown is attached to the base of a real tooth, you dentist will want to remove it and check the affected area immediately. This can help to save the healthy base of your original tooth and prevent a root canal. The crown can easily be removed without damaging the tooth.
A crown has moved completely
- If the crown that fell out was attached to your real tooth make sure you save it, check the tooth base for signs of damage, and avoid starkly hot or cold food until you can see the dentist.
- If the crown that fell out was from a root canal, check to see if it is the crown or the crown and the post attached. If it is just the crown, save it and be mindful of the exposed area. It will not be sensitive but could be sharp. If the crown and post came out, avoid that side of your mouth and try to get to the dentist very soon to replace.
A piece has fractured or broken
This is very rare, but occasionally our strong jaws and biting force can cause small failures of the metal pieces that comprise and secure our implants. This can be do to how the material was handled, the thickness of the material used, or any number of randomized acts of nature. If this is the case the dentist will most likely diagnose the issue and potentially remove the implant to inspect the pieces for breakdown or critical failure. If the crown or abutment piece are the culprit, they can usually be prepared and preserve the implant. If it is the implant itself, it will need to be replaced, unfortunately. Discuss with your dentist what the options are and where the liability in the failure lies.
Denture implants are loose
This does not mean a new implant, necessarily. Oftentimes when Overdentures or Snap-on or partial dentures are loose, it can simply mean the abutment piece needs to be retorqued. This piece anchors the dentures into the mouth for security, so it makes sense that if it is loose or not fitting precisely, you may experience a little wiggle. If this is not the case and your gums are swollen, it could indicate that one of the 2-4 implant anchors is failing. In this case a new implant will need to be anchored near the original. This can be done at the same time the original is removed, and within several weeks the prosthetic can be reattached to the implants.
During the time you are waiting to be seen for a moving implant
During the time in between when you noticed the looseness and when you see the dentist, it is best to adopt a soft food diet. Ideally your dental professional will be able to see you within a couple days of the problem presenting itself. A few days of soft food may help to ensure that one of the smaller problems, like loose screws, does not exacerbate into a critical failure. A failure of the implant could increase the cost and the time it takes to get your implant back in business.