Dental implants are typically very successful, and very reliable dental restorations, but they do sometimes experience complications. The good news is that most of the complications you might experience are superficial and easily fixed. That way your implants can continue to function for a lifetime.

Here are some of the more common problems people run into with dental implants–and what to do about them.

Cheerless woman having toothache

My Implant Fell Out!

Sometimes people contact us worrying that their implant fell out, but it’s not the implant. Most often, it’s a healing cap or dental crown that came off the implant. The implant itself is very secure in the bone, and even in the early days while it’s still healing, it’s unlikely that the implant itself is going to come out.

Contact your dentist if something comes out of your mouth where your dental implant is. Typically, it can be easily replaced (it may just need to be screwed back in).

My Implant Broke!

Again, if something broke in your implant, it’s probably not the implant itself. Not all the restorations are as strong as Prettau bridges, and sometimes the connecting piece between the crown and the implant–called an abutment–can be quite vulnerable to breaking.

If the abutment or crown of the implant broke or chipped, your dentist will have to repair or replace it. Contact your dentist right away.

My Implant Is Loose!

Unlike natural teeth, dental implants shouldn’t move at all. They should be very stable in your jawbone. If the implant is moving, something’s wrong. Most of the time, this is just the abutment or crown come loose. But sometimes it could be a symptom of peri-implantitis. Peri-implantitis is a form of gum disease that affects dental implants.

If you think your implant is loose, don’t push on it or play with it. Contact your dentist right away and he will identify the source of the movement.

My Implant Is Bleeding!

You can develop bleeding gums around your dental implant just like you can develop them around your natural teeth. And the cause is the same: gum disease. If you are seeing your dentist regularly, it probably hasn’t progressed to the point that it’s serious. Most likely, all that’s necessary is to change your oral hygiene routine a bit to better clean around the implant.Your dentist may prescribe a special medicine or mouthwash. If you follow your dentist’s instructions, your bleeding will resolve.

For more serious cases, your dentist may have to do some of his own cleaning around the implant. In rare cases, your dentist might have to remove the implant to complete the cleaning. Then once the gum disease is resolved, a new implant can be placed.

My Implant Hurts!

The dental implant procedure causes little discomfort, and what you do experience will typically cease fairly quickly. So if your implant starts to hurt again, it’s usually a sign that something’s wrong. Most often, that’s peri-implantitis, and the response is similar to what we would do if the implant was bleeding.

Complications Are Rare

Although it’s important to know how to respond to possible complications, the actual incidence of dental implant complications is rare. Studies show that over 98% of dental implants are successful, and that most successful implants last for decades, up to 50 years! Over this time, people will experience minor complications or need repairs to their implants on a few occasions. If you take care of implants, they will serve you well.

If you have questions about the longevity of dental implants or what to do if you experience a problem, please call (229) 242-5511 today for an appointment with Valdosta, GA implant dentist Dr. Nelson Clements.