Dental implants are devices which rely on a metal screw inserted into the jawbone and allowed to remain in place so that it is surrounded by bone tissues which embed it in the bone firmly. The metal screw is very carefully implanted in each patient and extensive care is taken by the dental surgeon to see that the whole procedure gets carried out properly by the team.
Before the crowns are fixed on top of the dental implants, it is ascertained that the metal screw is firmly entrenched in the bone and stands on its own like a natural root. Usually dental implants do not fall off except in certain situations.
But under a few circumstances, the dental implants can, and do fall off.
Depleted bone mass
The common cause in dental implants falling off is the depleted bone mass in the patient. Bone mass can deplete for many reasons among which commonly seen is old age, which is a natural cause of reduced absorption of calcium and vitamin D by the system. The bones become porous because of this deficiency in old people and the bone tissue slowly reduce. This makes the metal implant loosen up and fall.
Due to ageing process, many patients start losing bone mass as they grow older for natural reasons. When the jaw bone starts losing bone mass, the bone becomes porous and the metal screw which has been inserted in the bone starts coming lose because the growth of bone tissues around the screw starts to thin and slowly makes the screw leave the jaw bone and fall off.
Apart from age, there can be many other reasons that can make the bone mass to deplete. Cancer in the mouth or anywhere in the body may cause bone to deplete and make the screw in the jaw lose.
Another common cause of falling implants is gum disease. For any reason, if the patient develops gum disease, the jawbone gets infected with bacteria and bone tissues around the implant gets eaten away making the implant get loose and fall off. There are many reasons for the gum disease among which improper and insufficient dental hygiene is the major one and avoidable. Another reason for gum disease is Diabetes, which makes it difficult for tissues to heal after the surgery. Bacteria also thrives in people who are suffering from high blood sugar levels.
There are many people who have auto immune disease which makes healing difficult after surgery. They may also find their implants falling off after some time.
Other ailments and Diseases
There are certain diseases which affects bone mass and healing processes. Diabetes is one of the conditions that affects the process and does not allow growth of bone mass around the implant sufficiently enough to hold it in place. Increased blood sugar levels increase the possibilities of bacterial growth in the mouth leading to infections and gum disease which makes the implants fall off. Renal disease and liver disease also harm the bone mass supporting to the implants.
Medicines for other ailments
Medication is also one of the reasons why dental implant falls off. Radiation therapy used for certain diseases can make the dental tissue to decrease and that may cause the implant to become loosened. Apart from radiation therapy, there are other medicines that may interfere with the healing process and growth of tissues around the implant that will loosen the implant and make it fall off.
Medication during certain diseases also affect the body systems. It is very important to know which medication is prescribed to the patient beforehand so that the dental surgeon knows about the condition and take adequate steps. The disease may develop after the implant surgery in which case the dental surgeon may be unaware of the current medication interfering with the implant surgery and post-surgery care. In such cases the implant failure is likely.
In the treatment of cancers, radiation therapy is used which can be detrimental for bone tissues surrounding the implant and may cause them to loosen and fall off.
Too many crowns on too few implants.
When more crowns are placed on implants that cannot take the pressure of work done on it are making the implants weak and may cause it to fall.
How to care for dental implants
The one most important thing about caring for dental implant is the regular oral health regime. Nothing can take place of the regularity of cleaning the mouth throughout your life. Treat your dental implants as you would your natural teeth.
Regularly brush your teeth twice a day and preferably after every meal. As we all know, lack of regular brushing results in building plaque where mouth bacteria breed and multiply. The plaque causes multiplication of germs causing damage to not only teeth and gums but also the implants.
Floss your teeth after every meal, or at least once a day. Flossing removes food particles stuck in between teeth, and crevices between implants. Unwaxed flosses which keeps food from sticking to your teeth and gums. This makes for a clean mouth.
Use a milder version of toothpaste so that you do not scratch the protective surface of the tooth and the implants. Use mouthwash and cleanser solutions that are gentle on the teeth. Do not use toothpaste for whitening of teeth because they contain chemicals which harms the implants.
Regular dental visits
Dental implants are expensive treatment where you invest your money and time in addition to faith in the dentist. When you go through the procedure religiously over months, it is fair to expect that you do follow up and see the dentist at the appointed time.
It is very important to keep your visits to your dental office regular. Do not miss appointments.
If you find anything that is not normal in your mouth, call your dentist immediately so that steps can be taken before the issue gets out of hand.