Can an implant fall out? Possibilities, prevention, and overcome

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Let’s say that you just got your dental implants but forgot to ask something crucial to your dentist: Can an implant fall out? Well, even your natural teeth can fall out. So yes, it can. However, it’s not that easy for an implant to fall out. Since they are made from quite durable materials and are placed directly into your gums and jawbones, they shouldn’t just fall out for no reason.

Even if it’s a very low possibility and dependent on different factors, if there is any question on your mind about teeth, it’s our duty to help you with that. So the query “Can implant fall out?” is also an important subject for us. That’s why in this article we’ll try to answer all your questions on this subject and all your related subjects. Let’s start then.

Dental implant falling out: Everything you should know

First of all, there’s no need to panic. It’s a very rare situation but you can’t delay its happening. Like in any dental emergency, the key element is immediate intervention. You should act fast in order to minimize further complications to happen. Another important thing is a good understanding of the situation. That’s why we’ll try to inform you about the signs of a loose implant, different reasons why an implant can fail, and what to do in the following parts.

Symptoms that your implant is giving up

It’s actually not that hard to detect if your implant is giving up. There are some quite obvious signs. If you observe some of the following symptoms, it means it’s time to go to a dentist:

  • Looseness
  • Pain and discomfort
  • Difficulty in chewing and biting
  • Receding gum tissues around the implant
  • Visible changes

If your metal babies have any of these red flags, giving your dentist a call is the best choice you can do.

How common is it?

Actually, dental implant falling out is an extremely rare situation. It’s definitely an uncommon and unexpected case if the procedure went well and you took good care of them. However, if you neglected their care or the procedure was improper, this situation can change. They are mechanical tools attached to your flesh and bones at the end of the day. These kinds of problems not only can cause your implant to fall off but they also can create very unpleasant and even painful situations.

Which parts of the implant can fall out?

The deepest part of the dental implant, the fixture is placed in the jaw bone where the tooth roots are located. Fixation of this piece, until it is fully fused with the bone, is a decisive factor for the stability of the implant. This fusion process is a critical point for the fixation and consolidation of the implant. If this process fails, a portion of the implant may loosen or fall out.

Another part that can fall in implants is the implant screw called the implant abutment. The implant abutment is the material that is screwed into the implant after the fusion completes the healing process. It is for holding the prosthetic teeth that will be placed on the upper part of the implant. These installed screws can break and fall. However, the screws can also fall without breaking. In cases where the implant does not fuse or settle properly with the bone, abutments may fall without the need for fracture.

Finally, implant-supported prostheses are mentioned for falls in implants. Prostheses supported by and placed on implants are called dental implant crowns. The fall of this prosthetic tooth or teeth is also a condition that can be seen in implants. The breakage of it can also damage the implant and make it loosen.

Reasons for implant coming off

The causes of dental implants falling out vary. Because implants are artificial roots that replace the tooth root, they combine with the jawbone and fuse with the osseointegration process. Implants may need a while for the bone to take hold of them and it is normal to have some looseness early in the healing process.

However, if they continue to be loose after the early stages of the recovery period, they may be in danger of falling. There are many reasons for this. We will examine these reasons below. We will see these reasons in two different categories as early implant losses and late implant losses.

Early Period Losses

  • Failure in fusing with bone
  • Implant placement in a contaminated area
  • Excessive heat from bone
  • Unhealed infections at the implant sites
  • Placement of the implant in the wrong position and angle
  • Mistakes while placing bone grafting material
  • Inadequate oral hygiene
  • Eating hard food
  • Smoking habits
  • Bruxism
  • Uncontrolled diabetes or some autoimmune diseases
  • Chemotherapy or radiotherapy to the jaw area,

Late Term Losses

  • Insufficient bone presence
  • Gum thickness and amount of attached gingiva
  • Prosthesis design
  • Cement residues
  • Bad Oral Hygiene again, and always…

What to do if your implant came off?

Don’t panic! You can still save the implant. First of all, take the implant, clean it, and put it in a dry and clean container. So you won’t have to pay for a new implant if you’re lucky. Okay, you saved the implant but your flesh is obviously much more important right now. You need to rinse your mouth with warm salt water to keep the area clean and prevent infections.

The next step is the most crucial: Call your dentist! Get the earliest appointment possible. The implanted area shouldn’t stay empty for too long. It must be treated and replaced. If not, you may face a lot of problems from infections to bone loss. These kinds of problems make it harder to replace the implant. Before finishing, some people may experience pain after the implant falls off, in such a case you can take some painkillers to reduce the pain until you see the dentist.

Treatment options for the implant fall

Well, there are several things you can do when your implant falls off. It depends on the situation, how it fell, or which part of it fell off. 

Peri-implantitis treatment including tissue graftings

The infection in the surrounding tissues of an implant, known as gum disease, can be the cause of implant fall as it can make your gums recede and jawbones erode. So, if the implant fall out is caused by such an infection, your doctor treats the infection by using antibiotics and making necessary interventions. They may need to apply gum grafting or bone grafting to make the area available to plant the implant again.

Crown replacement

If only the dental crown has fallen, they can just place a new one on top of the implant. If you lost your original crown they may need to measure and analyze your tooth again to make a new suitable one for you. Or if you have the original crown and it’s in good shape, your dentist may just recement it.

Tightening

If your implant feels loose, you probably need to get it tightened. If the reason of loosened is a disease affecting tissues such as peri-implantitis, the doctor will treat it first. Then with the necessary intervention and adjustments, your implant will be saved.

Implant Replacement

Your old implants may not be suitable anymore or they may be no longer usable. In such cases, dentists will prepare new implants, remove the older ones and replace them. This means you have to go through the implant process again. 

What if it is left untreated?

Missing teeth and missing implants require immediate answers. First of all, not only the empty pocket can get infected but also the tissues in the area will begin to recede gradually. The bone tissue will start to get weaker and lose its mass eventually. This is caused by a lack of stimulation. As a chain reaction, this situation will affect the adjacent teeth, causing them to loosen and ruining their alignment. So don’t be late, go to the dentist quickly. 

References:

Dutta SR, Passi D, Singh P, Atri M, Mohan S, Sharma A. Risks and complications associated with dental implant failure: Critical update. Natl J Maxillofac Surg. 2020 Jan-Jun;11(1):14-19. doi: 10.4103/njms.NJMS_75_16. Epub 2020 Jun 18. PMID: 33041571; PMCID: PMC7518499. (link)

Benca E, Ferrante B, Zalaudek M, Hirtler L, Synek A, Kainberger FM, Windhager R, Brånemark R, Hobusch GM, Unger E. Thermal Effects during Bone Preparation and Insertion of Osseointegrated Transfemoral Implants. Sensors (Basel). 2021 Sep 18;21(18):6267. doi: 10.3390/s21186267. PMID: 34577474; PMCID: PMC8472893. (link)

Levin L. Dealing with dental implant failures. J Appl Oral Sci. 2008 May-Jun;16(3):171-5. doi: 10.1590/s1678-77572008000300002. PMID: 19089213; PMCID: PMC4327689. (link)

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