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Can I Remove a Loose Dental Implant at Home?

I have a new implant and crown that I received almost three months ago. The implant is loose and irritating. I will see the dentist next week. Can I pull out the implant myself? – Thank you. Lyle from PA

Lyle,

Thank you for your inquiry.

If you have a loose implant, we do not advise you to remove it yourself. Instead, only allow a skilled implant dentist or specialist to remove the implant.

What Happens If You Remove a Loose Implant at Home?

If you remove the implant at home, you might harm these areas:

  • Mistakenly damage surrounding tissue
  • Disrupt the surrounding bone
  • Cause the space to fill in with tissue prematurely

What Causes Dental Implant to Loosen?

Some factors that can cause a dental implant to loosen:

  • Placement – Without a 3-D CT scan, the implant location may not be ideal for healing. If the implant and your jawbone do not fuse, the implant can loosen and fail.
  • Infection – Infection in your bone or gum tissue creates inflammation and prevents osseointegration (bone and tissue fusing).
  • Implant overload – Too much pressure on the implant abutment (connector) or crown can cause overload. Clenching or grinding your teeth can add stress to an implant.

Symptoms of a Loose Dental Implant

Symptoms of a loose dental implant include the following:

  • Implant crown movement
  • Pain when you chew
  • Bleeding around the implant
  • Gum discoloration
  • Changes in gum structure

Loose Dental Implant Treatment

Diagram of three phases of a dental implant: separate compoonent, implant screw in the bone, and the crown attached
An implant dentist with advanced training or a specialist must remove a loose implant

An implant dentist must remove a loose dental implant. But your implant dentist will take an x-ray to identify which dental implant components are loose or damaged. Then, your implant dentist will determine and treat any of these factors before replacing the implant.

  • Infection – A dentist must treat and remove the infection to promote healing.
  • Bone loss – You may need grafting to support the implant. And three to four months of healing will follow. Otherwise, your dentist may replace the failed implant with a larger one.
  • Teeth grinding – You will need to wear a mouthguard to avoid pressure around the implant site.

You Can Get a Second Opinion

If your dentist does not give you satisfying answers about why your implant is loose, schedule an appointment for a second opinion. Look for a skilled dentist with advanced implant training or who works with a specialist for implant surgery.

Thomas J. Goebel, DDS of Moline, IL, sponsors this post.