While dental implants can be the strongest way to replace a missing tooth, the fact is that nothing is invincible.
The jawbone can get softer over time, the implant itself can crack or the anchor can gradually come loose over time. Though a new implant sounds daunting, there are other options. Sometimes the damage can be repaired.
These implant restoration options should get you back to eating apples and chewing gum in no time.
How do implants break?
The post (or abutment), the one going into your jawbone, is extremely unlikely to break. Sometimes it can become loose due to severe damage or just bad luck, but it is much less likely. The crown, however, can break just like any other tooth.
The crown can be broken by the same kinds of things that would damage regular teeth. Impact and chewing ice seem to be the most common causes.
Fixing a loose implant
A loose implant can not only be extremely frustrating, but it can end up weakening the jawbone and damaging nearby teeth and soft tissue.
Unfortunately, loose dental implants cannot be repaired as-is: They have to be replaced. How far the replacement goes depends greatly on the individual situation.
Implant restoration for cracked implants
If the actual tooth part of the implant has cracked or been seriously chipped, it may be possible to repair it without replacement.
Smaller fractures can sometimes be repaired with the same bonding material that is used to fix any cracked tooth. There are different forms, but the bonding material is typically made of resin that is the same color as the tooth. The cracked implant is then roughed up, and the bonding material is applied and molded into shape.
It is then trimmed down, shaped and polished to match the look of the teeth around it.
What to expect during the process
If the posts have to be replaced, the implant restoration process will be exactly the same as the first surgery. This includes grafting bone if necessary, waiting for that to recover, installing the post and finally putting in a new dental implant.
However, if it is a minor fix like repairing a crack, the process will involve tooth bonding resin and reshaping, neither of which takes a long time nor is terribly invasive.
Implant restoration recovery
For small fixes, the recovery will not take very long at all. However, if surgery needs to take place or a bone graft is necessary, the recovery process could be considerably longer. In the case of a bone graft, it could be seven to nine months for the graft to set properly. Then, the post and the implant will be placed afterward.
The times can vary wildly, so speak with your dentist about the procedure you are currently undertaking.
When it is time for implant restoration
Living with damaged teeth and loose implants can be extremely uncomfortable and can end up costing more, as the teeth and jawbone around it get damaged as well.
Instead, consider having your implants restored to their original healthy condition.
Request an appointment here: https://www.implantdentistirvine.com or call Smile by Design Dental Group at (949) 336-3404 for an appointment in our Irvine office.