If you have dental implants and are having difficulty with them, call (301) 804-9120 and schedule an appointment with our Chevy Chase, MD dental office. It is critical that you have your implant examined right away and that you do not try to self-diagnose the problem. This can lead to further irritation and dental challenges. During an examination we can let you know if you need a dental implant restoration and the best way to proceed with one.
How common are dental implant problems?
They are actually very rare. At James J. Stevens DDS one of the reasons that we recommend dental implants is because of their high success rate. Depending on the dentist you visit, that can be as high as 99 percent.
What are common dental implant problems?
If there is a problem, your dental implant could become loose or the crown (tooth portion) could crack or fall off.
Why do dental implants become loose?
If your implant has become loose it may be because osseointegration never took place fully. This is the process where the titanium implant fuses with the actual jawbone. Bone is deposited around the implant over the course of several months and this makes an implant as secure as a natural root would be. If that process does not fully complete, your implant could become loose in the future. Additionally, the stability of your implant depends on your jawbone remaining dense and strong. If you develop gum disease or an infection that deteriorates your bone, the implant could become loose and fail. This makes it important to call our 20815 dental office if you notice any signs of gum disease which may include red, swollen and bleeding gums. Additionally, if you develop a toothache you need to visit our office for treatment right away. Doing so will prevent you from developing an infection that could negatively impact your jawbone.
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What do I do if my dental implant has become loose?
Call us right away. The implant will not tighten on its own, nor will the problem correct itself. If you attempt to self-diagnose and treat, you could end up damaging your bone.
What does dental implant repair involve?
That depends on which portion of the implant is being repaired. If the actual tooth (dental crown) has become cracked or damaged, that can be replaced or repaired without needing to address the actual implant (titanium post). In this scenario, you should schedule an examination. If your tooth has fallen off, bring it with you. Otherwise, we can examine it and let you know if we can repair the crack or chip without actually removing the crown. At James J. Stevens DDS, we view this a the best-case scenario since it is the fastest way to restore your implant and the least invasive. If the crown does need to be replaced, the dental lab will create a new one for us to carefully attach to the abutment that is secured to your implant.
If your actual implant has failed that is a whole new process that can take up to four steps. The first step is to carefully remove it which may require surgery. Then depending on the condition of your jawbone, a bone graft may then be necessary. If your implant became loose due to a lack of density, not correcting the problem will make it impossible to replace the implant. You will need to heal from this procedure before a new implant can be placed, essentially starting the procedure all over again. If you are faced with this scenario, we can discuss the various options that are available to you in further detail.
How do you treat a fractured dental implant?
If the tooth portion of your implant has fractured, we will examine you and let you know if we can restore it using bonding material or if we have to replace the crown.
Can you replace a loose dental implant?
Yes, if the actual implant becomes loose, it will typically need to be removed. The area will then need to be cleaned and a bone graft may be necessary. Once healed, a new implant can be placed.
What will the replacement process be like?
It is likely that you will need to undergo surgery to have your implant removed, the area cleaned and your jawbone grafted. This will be done under anesthesia so that you do not feel anything during the actual treatment. However, your recovery period may feel very similar to when the implant was first placed. That means that you will have some swelling, discomfort and soreness. To combat this, you should use an ice pack for fifteen minutes at a time, take ibuprofen and eat cool soft foods for several days. If you also had a bone graft you will need to be careful not to apply pressure to the area so your food restrictions may last slightly longer than they did before. During a follow-up examination you will be given the green light to return to your normal dietary habits. One thing to keep in mind is that if you do need a bone graft, it is likely to take six to nine months for the graft to be complete so that you can have a new implant placed. At that point, the process will be identical to when you had an implant placed for the first time.
If one implant becomes loose or fails will my others do the same?
Probably not. Dental implants have a success rate of 99 percent. It is incredibly rare for a dental implant to fail so if one does, your others should be fine. The only difference is that if you had an injury that caused an implant to fail, you should have all of your teeth examined to make sure that none of the rest are damaged.
Do you handle all types of dental implant restorations?
We can conduct an initial examination, identify what the problem is and how extensive it is. This will involve a physical examination along with x-rays so that we can determine the density of your jawbone. At that point, we will let you know if we can assist you or if you need to be referred to a Chevy Chase specialist. At James J. Stevens DDS our focus is on your complete oral health and ensuring that you have access to the procedures you need, whether with us or a specialist. To learn more, call our 20815 dental office at 301-804-9120.
Helpful Related Links
- American Dental Association (ADA). Glossary of Dental Terms. 2015
- American Academy of Implant Dentistry (AAID). Bone Augmentation Page. 2016
About our business, license, and website security
- James J. Stevens DDS was established in 1976
- We accept the following payment methods: American Express, Cash, Check, Discover, MasterCard, and Visa
- We serve patients from the following counties: Montgomery County
- We serve patients from the following cities: Chevy Chase, Bethesda, and Northwest Washington
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