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A Loose Tooth Implant: Not As Bad As It Can Seem

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Baby teeth loosen because their root system is dissolved by the emergence of their replacement adult teeth. Permanent adult teeth loosen due to an infection or other form of decay that has weakened the tooth's connection to your jaw. Blunt force trauma (due to a physical accident) can have the same effect. But what about when your tooth implant's false tooth feels loose?

Certain Conditions

A loose tooth implant is undoubtedly very concerning. Fortunately, it may not be as serious as you assume, provided the following conditions are met:

  • The implant site (the gums immediately around the implant's false tooth) is not sore.
  • There is no swelling or other inflammation around the implant's false tooth.

Pain and inflammation around the implant site can indicate an infection which may be weakening your implant's integration with your jawbone. In the absence of these symptoms, the issue is likely to be mechanical and is fairly easy to reverse.

Implants and Prosthetic Teeth

A tooth implant isn't the false tooth that becomes part of your smile. The implant is the section embedded in your jaw—which is a small titanium screw that acts as an artificial tooth root. Once your dentist judged that the implant had sufficiently integrated with your jawbone, the final prosthetic tooth was added. An implant's tooth is usually connected by an abutment (a separate connection device that resembles a tiny metal disc), with the tooth then screwed or cemented into place, depending on what's most suitable in your case.

Loose Tooth, Secure Implant

When it's not accompanied by symptoms of a dental infection, the prosthetic tooth might be loose—but its implant should still be perfectly secure. Of course, there are many variables with tooth implants, so you'll need to have the device assessed by a dentist. Ideally, the only required action will be to re-secure the implant's prosthetic tooth.

Re-Securing the Tooth

Your treatment will be brief, and can typically be completed in a single appointment. The implant's prosthetic tooth is removed and inspected for damage that may render it inoperable. If this is the case, a new prosthetic tooth must be manufactured. In most cases, the existing tooth is re-secured to its implant and is fully functional again.

It's safer to not make assumptions about a tooth implant, and any abnormalities have to be checked by a dentist. However, when an implant is compromised due to an infection, the presence of the infection should be fairly obvious—so sometimes a loose implant tooth is just a loose implant tooth (and can quickly be corrected).

To learn more about dental implants, contact a dentist in your area.