Dental implants are little, screw-like titanium posts operatively placed into the jawbone to bring back missing teeth. They act as tooth roots for natural teeth replacement like dental crowns, bridges, or dentures. Usually, dental implants are carefully and firmly tightened during implant placement surgery. However, sometimes a dental implant may end up being loose due to some causes.
So, is a loose dental implant an emergency? The answer depends on a couple of variables.
Causes of Loose Dental Implants
To better understand whether a loose dental implant is an emergency, it is essential to know what triggers the problem in the first place. In general, there are two primary reasons why a dental implant might become loose:
1. Mechanical Forces or Infection
These pertain to any force that can alter the stability of an implant, such as chewing hard food or grinding teeth at night, and even simply a poor fit between the implant and your jawbone.
2. Infection or Peri-Implantitis
Meanwhile, infection is caused when bacteria get into the implant site and cause inflammation of the surrounding tissues. This can compromise the bond between the implant and the jawbone.
In either case, seeking medical attention is vital if your dental implant has become loose. If left without treatment, both mechanical forces and infection can result in further issues, such as:
- Infection of surrounding teeth
- Bone loss
- Failure of the dental implant itself
Signs a Loose Dental Implant Is an Emergency
Like other dental emergencies, it is crucial to visit a dentist immediately when you observe the following indicators:
- Pain and discomfort when biting or chewing
- Loose or shifting teeth near the affected implant
- Trouble communicating clearly or forming words properly
- Swelling of the gums around the affected implant
- Infection in the form of pus or discharge from the site of the loose dental implant
Visit the link for more details on the warning signals and treatment options for dental implant emergencies.
How to Handle a Dental Implant Emergency
If you think your dental implant is loose, seek treatment immediately from an experienced dental practitioner like Sunrise Emergency & Family Dental Care. The sooner you get help, the better your chances of restoring the implant and avoiding more complications.
Your dentist will likely need to take X-rays or an MRI scan to identify the source of the problem and decide on a course of action. Depending on the severity of the situation, they may opt to tighten or replace the implant altogether. In some cases, antibiotics may be necessary if an infection appears.
How to Avoid Loose Dental Implants
The following are recommendations on how to avoid loose dental implants:
- Keep up good dental hygiene practices and visit your dentist for routine examinations.
- Use a mouthguard or splint if you grind your teeth at night.
- Avoid hard and sticky types of foods that can cause mechanical forces on the implant.
- Limit alcohol and tobacco use, as they can contribute to infection.
- Follow any post-operative instructions that your dentist provides.
In addition to preventing loose dental implants, seeing your dentist regularly can also help identify potential issues before they become major problems. If you are interested in teeth whitening in Orange Park, your dentist may offer this service during your regular sessions or as a separate treatment.
A loose dental implant is not always an emergency, but it should still be addressed immediately by a qualified dental professional. It only turns into an emergency if there is pain, swelling, infection, or other indicators of trouble. However, addressing the issue early on and following your dentist’s directions help ensure your implant remains stable for years. It’s also essential to execute good oral hygiene habits and visit your dentist on a regular basis to minimize the risk of dental implant loosening in the first place.