Can Dental Implants Fall Out?

A dental implant becoming loose or falling out is a dental emergency that requires urgent attention to avoid any further complications or damage occurring. If a dental implant is left untreated once issues begin, it can potentially lead to further problems like implant failure, infections and bone loss which make it more difficult to place a new implant if needed.

Read on to find out why dental implants can fall out and what you should do. 

What are Dental Implants?

Dental implants or tooth implants are artificial teeth that can be implanted into your jaw bone. Instead of dentures, dental bridges or other similar treatments, you can choose to have a solid new tooth fitted into your mouth. There are several options available to you such as single, multiple, all-on-4, and full sets of dental implants available.

What are Dental Implants Made Of?

A dental implant will likely be made of high-quality metal and realistic porcelain which will help it to anchor firmly in your mouth. They are designed from robust materials that are suitable for every kind of diet and look the same as your other teeth so nobody will know that you have a fake tooth.

How are Dental Implants Inserted?

your mouth through minimally invasive dental surgery. To reduce pain, you’ll have a local anaesthetic to numb the area so there where the dental implant will be placed. A small incision is made where the implant itself is to be fitted and it is then screwed into place. While you heal from the procedure a small temporary crown is fitted. At the end of your treatment, a custom-made crown will replace the temporary one making your tooth fit in with those around it.

There are three parts to a dental implant:

  • A titanium post: This is surgically implanted into the jawbone
  • Abutment screw: This will protrude from the gum so that the restorative crown can be attached in place.
  • The restorative crown: This is screwed into place on top of the abutment and replaces the missing tooth.

Are Dental Implants Built to Last?

It is very unlikely that a dental implant will fall out, however, as with any surgical procedure, sometimes complications can arise. It is important to take good care of your teeth after surgery as without good oral hygiene and care you can risk issues such as gum disease which can cause tooth loss and a loose dental implant.

In general, dental implants are reliable and shouldn’t fail if they’re properly cared for. They can last from 15-25 years with correct care.  

If a dental implant does fail and falls out, it is likely due to poor bone structure in the jaw meaning that there is very little for the implant to anchor itself to. Implants require a good amount of bone to be correctly fitted otherwise they can be unstable. If there is a lack of bone for this to happen, then bone grafting will likely be needed.

Do Dental Implants Have High Success Rates?

The success of a dental implant is very dependent on a variety of factors such as the quality of bone, where the implant is placed, the skill of the surgeon and the quality and type of implant that has been chosen. Dental implants have a success rate over 95% and should last a long time when cared for properly.

Signs of a Loose Dental Implant

To figure out if your dental implant is loose or is at risk of falling out, you need to be aware of the signs that there is something wrong:

  • Pain Or Swelling: Pain in your gums or inflammation around your implant is always a cause for concern and you should consult your dentist immediately.
  • Visible Bone Loss: You might be able to check for bone loss by inspecting your mouth. Focus on the area around your implant and check for visible signs of bone loss.
  • Redness Or Bleeding: If your gums around your implants appear to be irritated or begin to bleed when brushing or flossing it could be a symptom of a loose dental implant.
  • Discolouration: Any discolouration of your implant can be an early sign of it becoming loose. You will be able to detect the colour change visibly.
  • A Moving Implant: If your dental implant moves when it is touched with your finger or your tongue then it needs to be checked by a dentist immediately to prevent it from falling out or causing further irritation.

Why Can Dental Implants Fail or Fall Out?

The most common reason for implant failure is when the implant hasn’t connected correctly to the bone structure. This is called ‘osseointegration’ and it can take months to adequately heal once corrected. There are many other reasons a dental implant can fail:

  • Poor Dental Hygiene – Having good dental hygiene is paramount to keeping your dental implant in good condition. Your gums need to be bacteria-free to heal and accommodate the implant. Smoking can also cause your dental implants to come loose.
  • Loose Crowns – The crown or the top part of your false tooth can become loose. Grinding your teeth or biting down with pressure and chewing can loosen or dislodge the crown.
  • Peri-implantitis (Gum Disease) – Peri-implantitis is an inflammatory gum disease that can impact the health of your dental implant. Particles of food may be stuck on and around your implant or crown and if not cleaned away this can cause gum disease.
  • Medical Conditions –  Some medical conditions can make implant failure more likely, for example:
    • Diabetes – Diabetes may have an effect on successful dental implant surgeries. However, if the surgery is well-planned and aftercare is good then this can decrease the risk of failure.
    • Autoimmune Diseases – Autoimmunity can slow down the healing process of dental implants and prevent them from being successful, and tooth loss can also be a cause too.
    • Antidepressant & Heartburn Medication – Certain kinds of medication can lead to bone loss and cause your implants to become loose.

What Should I Do If My Dental Implant Falls Out?

In the very rare case that your dental implant falls out the first thing you should do is contact and consult your dentist. You should keep the damaged part and take it with you to your appointment.

Crown Has Fallen Out:

If the visible part of your dental implant (the crown) has come loose or has fallen out, it is easily fixed by a dentist in a single appointment as it can be screwed back into place. However, if the crown is damaged, it may need replacing. If your temporary dental implant cap has come away from your implant then your dentist will also be able to replace this in a single appointment too.

Implant Abutment Has Fallen Out:

If the abutment screw has come loose or has fallen out then your dentist can tighten this and they will make additional checks during the appointment to ensure that everything is as it should be and to protect the implant against further failures or complications. A dental abutment is a screw that fixes the crown to your dental implant.

Dental Implant Has Fallen Out:

In the worst-case scenario, your dental implant may have fallen out completely. This is the stud that integrates with your bone and holds the abutment screw and crown in place and makes the implant more stable. This will require immediate attention and you should contact your dentist for an emergency appointment immediately. Depending on your specific condition you may require dental surgery to place the implant back into your mouth safely. You should also switch to a soft diet and prevent biting or chewing if you have any loose, damaged or healing implants.

What Are the Risks of Not Having Loose or Damaged Dental Implants Fixed?

Damaged or loose dental implants are usually not a huge cause for concern unless the implant itself falls out. You should contact your dentist if you are experiencing issues with an implant to see if it needs fixing. Not treating a loose or damaged dental implant can lead to implant failure or other issues. Additionally, the crown or implant can get lodged in your throat whilst eating or sleeping. Infections can also develop on the implant and cause further health complications.

How to Take Care of Your Dental Implants?

It is relatively easy to take care of your dental implants so long as you follow your dentist’s advice and go for regular check ups or procedures that are needed. Having a dental appointment at least once a year will help your dentist to spot any early issues with your dental implant if there are any. Getting things fixed earlier will help keep your mouth healthy and avoid more invasive treatment being required later on. 

Avoiding certain foods can also increase the longevity of your dental implant and prevent implant failure. Crunchy or hard foods can loosen your crown and your soul try to decrease any pressures on your jaw such as clenching your teeth.

On top of all of this, practising a good standard of dental hygiene such as proper brushing and flossing can help to ensure that your dental implant doesn’t become loose or infected which can cause failure. Quitting bad oral habits such as smoking may also be a wise idea if you wish to give your dental implant the best chance of success.

How Can Duthie Dental Help?

We are experts at fitting dental implants and have helped thousands of patients enhance their smiles. Contact us today for a consultation or if you have any questions about dental implants.

You may also be interested in: