There are two main reactions to a loose tooth. If you're a child, you'll be excited. If you're an adult, you'll be alarmed—because of course, another name for adult teeth is permanent teeth. So if one of those is loose, then you're experiencing a significant dental issue. But now to complicate matters a little—what does it mean when your loose tooth is a dental implant?
The Sections of Your Implant
Although your dentist would have explained the details to you at the time, it might be helpful to have a refresher about dental implants. The section implanted into your jaw is a small titanium alloy screw, chosen for its strength, longevity, and its very low chance of irritating surrounding tissues. Your jaw actually healed around the implant screw, holding it in place. The implant then had a small abutment fitted to its peak, and your dental crown (your false tooth) was attached to the abutment.
Stable and Functional
You'll need to see your dentist fairly soon, but fortunately, you don't need to be alarmed. The implant in your jaw is still perfectly secure, despite the loose false tooth. Short of blunt force trauma to your mouth, or an infection that caused it to lose its integration with your jaw, your implant is stable and functional. And if either of these scenarios occurred, you would experience pain, swelling, and even bleeding—so you would be well aware that there's a problem. A loose dental crown attached to an implant doesn't in fact involve the implant.
Your dental crown would have been attached to your implant's abutment in one of two ways. With rear teeth that handle a lot of chewing (your molars and premolars), your dentist may have used a crown with a small hole through its center. The crown was then screwed onto the abutment via this hole, with the hole then covered using composite dental resin (the same material used to patch cavities). With teeth towards the front of your mouth, it's likely that your dentist cemented the dental crown to the abutment.
Securing the Crown
Whatever the attachment method, all that's happened is your dental crown has become a little loose. Please contact your dentist to explain the situation. They'll schedule an appointment to secure the crown, either re-cementing it or tightening its screw, and that will be the end of the problem. Be careful with chewing in the meantime. Your loose crown may detach if it's exposed to too much bite pressure, so you may want to stick to soft foods, or chew only on the unaffected side of your mouth.
A loose dental crown attached to a dental implant doesn't mean a loose dental implant. A loose dental implant is a serious problem, but a loose dental crown is something that's very easy to correct.
For more information about dental implants, contact a local dentist.