As a child, wasn't it exciting when one of your teeth became loose? Soon there would be a visit from the Tooth Fairy, and shortly after that, you'd have another grown-up tooth in your smile. As an adult, a loose tooth is unsettling, and a loose dental implant is downright alarming. What causes a dental implant to wiggle as though it's loose?
Dental implants fuse to the bone that holds your dental sockets. This bone is the alveolar ridge, and once the titanium alloy bolt of the implant integrates with your bone, the effect should be permanent. When the prosthetic tooth attached to the titanium alloy bolt begins to wobble, then clearly, the effect might not have been as permanent as hoped.
Leave the Implant Alone
Leave your dental implant alone as much as possible. Don't prod it with your tongue, and don't touch it with your fingers, even if you're only attempting to gauge just how loose it is. It must not be subjected to any type of pressure, so you should favor the unaffected side of your mouth when chewing your food. Schedule an urgent appointment with your dentist. If the implant should be both loose and painful, over-the-counter pain medication and a cold compress will manage your symptoms.
Your dentist will inspect the implant, and ideally, the mobility of the implant will be limited to the crown (which is the prosthetic tooth attached to the titanium alloy bolt). This is a relatively simple issue. Your dentist can tighten the crown, via the abutment that attaches it to the implant bolt. When another issue is causing the implant to wobble, your dentist may need to remove the crown and the abutment. These pieces may have become damaged and can be replaced.
When the implant itself isn't at fault, the issue might be due to a failure of the integration between the titanium alloy bolt and your jaw bone. This generally occurs shortly after the initial placement of an implant but can theoretically develop at a later stage. This requires removal of the implant, followed by a thorough assessment of the fault, which might be the depth or angle of implant placement. Once the issue has been identified, a new implant can be placed.
If your implant begins to wobble, leave it alone and take whatever remedial measures are required, and see your dentist without delay. Reach out to a professional for more information about dental implants.