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FAQ:  Implants

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Save a loose implant? I had a dental implant and graft on my front tooth done in February of this year.

A temporary was put on immediately but the whole implant felt loose and caused a lot of pain. In March the temporary was removed and a partial was used instead.

This month, July, the permanent crown was placed on the implant. The whole implant is still loose. My surgeon decided on a wait and see approach hoping the implant will tighten.

The xrays show the graft not taking on the bottom of the implant. Is there a chance the implant will tighten in a few months or am I wasting my time with false hope? ...Visitor from CA

We have to talk in general terms because I have not seen you personally.

In my experience with implants, a loose implant will not be serviceable long term. Implants require a firm boney attachment or at least a tight contact with the bone. Loose implants develop soft connective tissue next to the implant rather than bone which is why they are lost over time.

My suggestion is to extract the implant, get a new graft, wait at least 3 months for the graft to heal. Evaluate how much bone is available, how much soft tissue and papilla are remaining and decide on an implant or a fixed bridge.

A fixed bridge instead of an implant has advantages. If the dentist is highly skilled, fixed bridges are able to look better esthetically when a lot of bone is lost or a lot of soft tissue is lost.

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