Most people can have a dental implant for decades without experiencing any problem. However, it is helpful to know what steps to take if an implant breaks. Learn what to do if there is a problem with a dental implant and implant restoration options.
The strength of dental implants
Dental implants are an excellent and durable option for replacing lost teeth. However, they are still vulnerable to damage. They are almost as strong as natural teeth — which can also break when subjected to undue force. Dental implants may also weaken over time by harmful oral habits such as ice chewing, biting on hard foods, teeth grinding or trauma. These factors, coupled with preexisting medical conditions, can reduce a dental implant’s lifespan. Nevertheless, dental implants are often preferred for how they allow patients who have lost their natural teeth to regain dental functions.
Causes of implant breakage
Dental implants may break if subjected to too much pressure before they have completely integrated or fused with the jawbone. Other parts of the restoration can also be damaged. Wear and tear can break the abutment (the connector that holds the crown to the implant). If the dental implant feels loose or awkward, the issue may be due to a damaged screw in the abutment.
The dental crown that constitutes the tooth structure can typically last for about 10 to 15 years before needing a replacement. However, without good oral habits or proper care, the crown may fail prematurely.
Repairing a broken dental implant
If the titanium screw of an implant is broken, the only option is to extract it and replace it with another implant. A dental professional may need to perform a bone graft procedure before placing a new implant. Bone grafts augment the bone’s structure and help to ensure the jaw is strong and dense enough to hold an implant. After the bone graft, the patient usually needs to wait for some months before the dentist can replace the implant.
If the abutment or screw is broken, the dentist will only need to restore those parts and not the implant. If the crown breaks or cracks, impressions of the mouth will be taken and forwarded to the dental lab. This will be used to fabricate new crowns that will naturally into the mouth.
Preventing damages to dental implants
If the patient gets same-day implants, it is important not to apply too much pressure on the teeth at first. Follow the dentist's instructions after dental implant surgery to avoid complications. Teeth grinding places excess pressure on the implant and crown. The dental professional can provide a custom nightguard to protect the teeth from the effects of bruxism.
With adequate care, a dental implant can last a lifetime. Practice good oral hygiene and visit the dentist regularly for checkups. If you experience any issue with the implant, including breakage, and need implant restoration, call a dentist immediately. They will provide instructions on how to return your smile to its original state.
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