One of the most common solutions for a missing adult tooth is a dental implant. Compared to dental bridges they last longer and are more durable. But just because they are more durable, that doesn’t mean they are invulnerable. For a variety of reasons it is possible to damage your dental implant. If you implant is damaged you might need to make an emergency dental appointment to get it handled right away. In this article we will cover different types of damage for dental implants, whether or not it is serious, and what you should do if you have issues with your dental implant. 

A model of a dental implant

What Are Dental Implants And How Do They Get Damaged?

When you lose an adult tooth you have a few options to fill the gap. A dental bridge for example works by connecting a false tooth to the surrounding existing teeth using dental crowns. A dental implant on the other hand involves surgically inserting a dental post into the jawbone and allowing the implant to fuse with the jawbone in a process called osseointegration. Once this happens, a tooth can be attached to the implant. This is a much more long-term solution for a missing tooth. Implants mimic the way our teeth naturally are embedded in our mouths by replacing not only the tooth’s crown but also the tooth root. That being said dental implants much like teeth are vulnerable to damage. Implants can be cracked, broken, or can even become loose if the implant does not entirely bond to the jawbone. 

What To Do If Your Dental Implant Breaks:

Implants can break under extreme pressure. Like a tooth this pressure can happen over time. Teeth can crack and eventually break if consistently put under a lot of stress due to grinding or chewing on hard items like ice or none food items like pens. Using your teeth or your implant incorrectly can lead to damage. For example some people might use their teeth to open a container, this is not recommended since while your bite strength might be strong your teeth or implants can get really damaged by putting so much pressure on them. 

If you notice a crack in your dental implant or it breaks, you need to call a dentist right away. If the post is broken it will need to be removed and replaced. In some cases bone grafts might also be needed to allow for reimplantation. If just the tooth portion is broken. that might be able to be removed and replaced. 

What Do I Do If My Dental Implant Gets Chipped?

If your dental implant is simply chipped on the outside or cracked, you should make a dental appointment and avoid chewing on the tooth for until you see your dentist. The dentist will be able to check the abutment/crown and see about replacing it. Replacing the abutment or crown is much easier than needing to replace the entire implant. If the implant isn’t loose and it doesn’t hurt it is likely just a simple crack or chip and all you need is to have it replaced. That being said, you should avoid chewing on it because this could turn a crack into a break.

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