A few days or weeks after the implant procedure, we sometimes get frantic calls from patients saying that their dental implant fell off or the implant screw fell off or that they even ended up swallowing the screw. Many a times though, the patients are unaware of what exactly fell out.
My dental implant fell out, what do I do now?
When patients call saying that their dental implant fell off, we, as dentists or dental office personnel, need to find out what exactly came out. This is because, most of the times, it is the upper attachment or abutment screw that’s fallen off and not the actual implant. It is a rare possibility for the actual dental implant to fall out. However, if the implant really falls out, the patient needs to be examined and given other suitable options.
The healing abutment screw is what the patients mostly refer to as dental implants falling off.
This happens due to various reasons and patients are typically requested to come back to the dental office to get the screw re-attached. There is no reason to panic if this screw falls off but if this happens more often, then the crown procedure may get a little complicated.
When the patient comes in with a fallen abutment screw, we usually discard the one that’s fallen off, (if the patient brings it in) and simply attach a new one by more tightening. The abutment screw can fall out because it’s not completely down and also because it is being resisted by the bone or gum tissue.
We also advise patients to not eat anything hard or use that side of the mouth to chew until the implant is healed. If the healing abutment screw falls off repeatedly, we advise the patient to come in only a day or so before their implant crown appointment. During this visit we would do a small laser cut procedure in order to move the soft tissue away, in order to make space for the implant crown. Some people have a tendency for the healing abutment screw to fall off.
The dental implant really fell out.
As mentioned above, this scenario is rare. Most patients just mistaken the healing abutment screw for the dental implant itself. If the entire dental implant comes out, you will have different feeling in the area, some may also realize that the gap or hole has gotten deeper. The fallen dental implant, unlike the abutment screw, looks like a screw with a few strings surrounding it. The abutment is a relatively smaller attachment that looks like a screw or a small stud earring. The entire dental implant coming off can also be painful and involve bleeding. In this rare case, the dentist will start you on antibiotics to prevent infections and may apply healing medications or even perform a minor procedure to close, if needed. In such cases, it is usually determined that the patient’s body is rejecting the implant and the dentist may suggest such a patient to get a dental bridge.