Dental Implant Fell Out

Backed by several decades of clinical research, development, and effective use, dental implants have become the go-to replacement option for people who have lost one or more teeth. Although dental implants have success rates reaching 98%, it is possible for an implant to fail but rare for it to fall out completely. This is especially the case if the restoration was performed by a highly skilled and experienced oral surgeon.

When they are properly placed, dental implants should match the mouth and tooth structure of the patient. To ensure the implants remain securely in place for life, the oral surgeon will thoroughly check the restorations for proper fit. Dental implants are permanent and designed to stand up to intense use with minimal changes to the patient’s oral hygiene routine. When an implant comes out, it is often because there was an error with its installation or some other underlying factor. Fortunately, in the rare case where an implant does fall out, it can typically be resolved promptly.

If it is so rare for an implant to fall out, what is really going on when patients contact their dentist saying their dental implant came out? This article will examine the reasons why an implant could fail, how the problem can be resolved, and steps that can be practiced to avoid implant failure.

Why Do Dental Implants Fail?

Some of the reasons a dental implant can fail include:
* The patient lacks sufficient healthy jawbone required to properly support the device
* The patient has a weakened or deficient immune system
* Overuse or placing too much pressure on the implant while healing
* Biological rejection


The Abutment Could be the Cause

Dental implants are comprised of three components:
* The Implant: The small rod or post, typically made of titanium, that is surgically embedded directly into the patient’s jawbone; serves as replacement tooth roots.
* The Abutment: Connecting piece between the implant and the replacement crown.
* The Crown: The visible, false tooth which is mounted onto the abutment.

Often when a patient states their dental implant fell out, it can be attributed to the abutment becoming dislodged rather than the implant post itself. To remedy this issue, an oral surgeon can often swap out the abutment before reattaching the crown.
The replacement crowns mount to the abutments and implant posts that are embedded below the gumline. Normally, the implant posts will completely fuse with the jawbone and firmly anchor in place. The chances of implant surgery being successful is increased when the patient’s bones are healthy because this helps ensure implants remain secured in the jaw.
As people get older, bone mass is lost. Because of this, older patients could lack sufficient bone strength required to adequately support dental implants. While this is not necessarily prohibitive for elderly patients being candidates for dental implants, it could reduce the odds of successful treatment. To increase the odds of success, elderly patients may try vitamin supplements to strengthen their bones or undergo bone grafting procedures before implant surgery.

Titanium Dental Implants Rarely Fail

Although possible for titanium dental implant posts to become loose, very rarely will a post fall out of the jawbone completely. Most failures can be linked to problems stemming from osseointegration (the process whereby the implant and jawbone fuse together). This can be due to:
* Insufficient jawbone area or density – this is often addressed via a bone grafting procedure prior to placing the implants.
* A bacterial gum infection that develops after implant surgery.
* Underlying health conditions that have a negative impact on osseointegration.
* Smoking, using tobacco, consuming excess alcohol, and placing too much force on the implant while healing.

Signs to Keep an Eye On

Prior to it falling out, a dental implant will start to come loose. The signs and symptoms of loose implants can be tied to varying causes or factors which if caught early, can minimize the odds of the implant falling out completely. Due to the importance of early intervention, patients should monitor any of the following signs that are experienced after the placement of their dental implants:
* Lingering or increasing pain in the days following surgery
* Noticeable jawbone loss
* Gums that bleed when touched
* Visible color changes to the tissues surrounding the implants
Should the patient notice any of these signs, it is recommended that they promptly seek professional intervention to keep the implant secured in position.

How to Care for Dental Implants

In addition to having strong bones, there are steps that can be taken to care for implants that will help maximize their longevity. Abstaining from overly hard or sticky foods that could damage an implant, is one example. When hard foods are chewed or bitten into, it places excessive force on an implant that can jeopardize its success. Sticky foods create issues because food debris can more easily adhere to an implant and be difficult to remove. Other foods like nuts, popcorn, or seeds, can be problematic since they can easily get stuck between the teeth and cause irritation.

Fortunately, dental implants can be cared for the same way as natural teeth. As such, patients should floss daily, thoroughly brush the teeth twice per day with a soft-bristled toothbrush, and visit the dentist two times per year for professional cleanings and examinations. When oral hygiene is properly practiced, the mouth maintains healthy, the risks of tooth decay and periodontal disease are reduced, and the chances of a dental implant remaining securely in place rise.

What to do If an Implant Falls Out Completely

In most cases, implant surgery is successful and causes no issues. In the rare instance where an implant comes out completely, patients should contact a dental professional immediately to treat the issue. In many cases, the dental implant can be inserted again if it comes out.
It generally is not a huge concern if a crown simply falls off as most of the time, it can be tightened down again. If an abutment is the issue, they can also typically be replaced. However, if the implant rod moves under the gums, periodontal disease or bone loss can result that could necessitate antibiotics and modifications to the oral hygiene routine. After any periodontal issues are resolved, the implant may be able to be re-inserted.

Dental Implants Metal Allergy