Dental implants consist of the implant itself which is titanium or ceramic post embedded within your jawbone, a dental crown, and an abutment that joins the two. Although these three parts perform as a single unit, a problem with any one of them can contribute to the implant not functioning properly. The abutment screw is the weakest link of the three parts. In fact, when it comes to a broken dental implant, the abutment screw is the most frequent culprit. Fortunately, unlike natural teeth, parts can be replaced.
One of the reasons that dental implants have become such a popular and effective treatment option is their ability to last a lifetime, provided they receive proper care and maintenance on a regular basis. But even the best cared-for dental restorations can fail for a wide range of reasons. Let’s delve into some of the ways that someone might realize they have a broken dental implant.
The Dental Crown Came Off
With implants, crowns are secured to the implant either by cement or with a screw. Sometimes loose crowns are caused by problems with the screw that connects the crown to the dental implant. Replacing the screw can resolve the issue. If the cement has failed, often the crown can be reapplied provided that the crown has not been damaged. If the crown itself is cracked, chipped, or excessively worn, it will need to be replaced.
Pain or Infection
Pain, swelling, or drainage are classic signs that the body is telling you something is wrong in a big way. If the implant has swelling around it, implant failure is imminent. The metal post may even become exposed as the irritated gums start to recede around it. This could be caused by a broken implant within the jawbone or it could be a sign of implant failure, which does occasionally occur for no apparent reason at all. The dentist will take an x-ray to determine the exact issue.
In either event, the implant must be removed to resolve the infection. After a period of healing, it may be possible for the implant surgeon to perform a bone graft to increase the amount of new bone present before placing a new implant.
How To Fix a Broken Tooth Implant
The process of how to fix a broken tooth implant can be divided into a multiple-step process with one step building upon the next. Often, more than one step can be accomplished within the same appointment if a decision can be quickly reached.
Much like a car or computer that is not functioning properly, an expert looks at a number of things that could be causing the specific symptoms. A dental professional will follow a similar process to determine why you appear to have a broken dental implant. This may include taking x-rays, manually manipulating the implant, and palpating the gum tissue for signs of swelling or soreness.
- Treatment Plan
Once the issue is discovered, a plan is made to correct the problem and it is presented to you, the patient. That way you can be involved in the process. Any type of dental treatment offers both benefits and disadvantages in one form or another. Ultimately, it is your mouth and you must feel comfortable with the treatment suggested.
Once the treatment is agreed upon by the doctor and the patient, treatment is performed. Depending on the problem, it could be as simple as removing the crown and replacing a titanium screw or replacing the crown entirely. Or, less frequently, it could be a bigger commitment that requires replacing the implant.
Dental implants are a popular and effective way to replace missing teeth. However, they are not without their risks. If you are considering dental implants, it is important to be aware of the possible ways in which they can fail. By understanding how dental implants can break, you can take steps to protect yourself from potential problems.
Contact us today if you have any questions about dental implants or would like to schedule a consultation. We would be happy to help you make an informed decision about this important procedure.