Dental implant moving: should you be alarmed?

Dentist and patient looking at a digital dental x-ray.
15 Jan 2018

When it comes to dentistry, technology has come a long way over the years. Many people these days have dental implants to replace missing teeth, and these can be extremely effective and very strong. However, if you have had dental implants and one of them is moving, is this something that you should be worried about?

There are a number of reasons why a dental implant may move. Because they are secured right into the bone, it should be secure once it has been screwed in. However, if there is movement, you need to be aware of the possible causes. In some cases, it may not be anything serious – such as the movement of the crown on the implant. However, in other cases, it could be more serious and may require speedy treatment so that the problem can be rectified. This is why it is always wise to seek advice from your dentist if you have any movement in your implant.

Common Causes of Movement With These Implants

When you have dental implants and you find that one of them is moving, you should avoid things such as pushing down on it or rocking it about in your mouth. Instead, it is important to see your dentist to check what the cause of the movement is. Action can then be taken to rectify the situation. Some of the possible causes include:

  • The crown: Although you may think that the dental implant is moving, it may actually be the crown on the implant that is moving. If this is the case, your dentist should be able to get that rectified without any major issues. Solutions such as screwing down the crown will be able to get this secured so that you do not experience further problems.
  • Failure to integrate: Another reason why your implant may be moving is the results of implant failure. This can occur if the implant does not properly integrate into the bone. While implant failure is not common, it can occur and it generally happens in the first year or so after having the implants put in. When you have an implant put in, it has to go through a process known as osseointegration which is where the implant integrates with the bone. However, in some cases a layer of tissue can form between the implant and the bone, which can stop this from happening.
  • Loss of bone: If you have loss of bone around the implant, this could be the cause of the implant moving. This could be due to a gum disease, which is known as peri-implantitis. If the problem is identified quickly enough, it can be sorted out through treatment. However, if not then the implant may have to be removed for the site to be treated and then replaced.

These are all possible causes of movement with your dental implant. You should bear in mind that implant failure is very rare but it can happen. This is why you need to make sure you seek advice from your dentist.

Seeing Your Dentist as Soon as Possible

Some people leave their mobile implant in the hope that it will sort itself out. However, the longer you leave it the higher the risk of costly and invasive treatment being required. With this in mind, you should make sure that you see your dentist sooner rather than later so that the cause of the problem can be quickly identified. Your dentist can then discuss the treatment options with you based on what the cause of the implant movement is.