Damage to a Dental Implant: How Serious Is It?

Whether it was a sporting accident, a fall, or some other unfortunate occurrence, it's possible for a dental implant to become damaged, resulting in the detachment of the prosthetic tooth. Though the tooth itself might remain intact, the implant bolt inserted into your jaw might have caused damage to the surrounding tissue from the force of the impact. Even though the tooth might be fake, the potential for risk is real, and quick treatment is crucial.

The Surrounding Tissue

This requires immediate treatment by an emergency dentist. Though the implant would have originally been secured in position before the prosthesis was attached, any damage to the surrounding tissue will need to be assessed. This damage might be all too obvious if there is severe bleeding. Control the bleeding by rinsing your mouth gently but thoroughly and biting down a piece of sterile gauze. If you don't have any gauze on hand, use a wet tea bag (green tea is a good choice for this). 

The Detached Tooth

Unless it has been lost, bring the prosthetic tooth with you. It will be inspected for damage, but it can sometimes be reattached when the site has healed. This healing will often require the same amount of waiting time as when you first received the implant. It can be several months before the site around the implant has again achieved the necessary bone density to support the load (bite pressure) of the tooth. Ideally, this healing can take place without the need to remove the bolt portion of the implant.

The Emergency Treatment

For the initial emergency treatment, the dentist will control the bleeding as much as possible, and antibiotics might be prescribed. Immediate pain relief can be administered, although once any anaesthetic has worn off, over-the-counter pain relief should be sufficient. While the tissue damage surrounding the implant will be the most pressing concern, the dentist will also inspect your natural teeth for any damage caused by the accident. An X-ray can be performed to rule out any jawbone fractures, and a radiograph might also be ordered to identify any hairline cracks in your teeth that won't necessarily be spotted during a visual inspection.

Damage to a dental implant as the result of an accident can be a very serious matter, so make sure you treat it like the emergency it is.

To learn more, contact an emergency dentist in your area.