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What Is Tooth Mobility, And Why Is It Affecting Your Dental Implant?

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Your dental implant treatment resulted in a deep placement of the titanium post. In order to support the prosthetic dental crown attached to it, the titanium portion of the implant must be entrenched in your jawbone. The alveolar ridge (the dense part of your jawbone that contains dental sockets) fused around the implant to hold it in position. The implant is buried and cannot break. Yet it may feel as though your implant has somehow broken when your prosthetic tooth becomes mobile.


Tooth mobility does not relate to a missing tooth—one that has detached entirely. It describes a tooth that moves within its socket while still remaining connected to your jaw. Children experience tooth mobility when primary (baby) teeth are pushed out of the way by secondary (adult) teeth. You may have experienced tooth mobility with the tooth that was ultimately replaced by your implant and its prosthetic dental crown. The trouble is that your dental crown now feels mobile.


The slightly thicker end of the implant sits level with your gums. Once the implanted titanium post had integrated with your jaw (healed), this end of the implant was fitted with a post extension or abutment to hold your dental crown. Crowns can be solid and bonded to the post extension with dental cement. Crowns may also have a small access hollow, allowing them to be screwed to the post extension (which can be the case with thicker crowns, such as those for molars). The hollow was then filled with tooth-colored dental cement. Your mobile crown may be encountering a connection difficulty with its post extension.


A loose post extension can lead to a mobile dental crown. The false tooth feels loose, but this is unlikely to be related to the implant deeply entrenched in your alveolar ridge. Should the implant's integration with your bone be failing, you would experience symptoms beyond mild crown mobility. Your jaw and gums would be sensitive, and even sore, and there would also be inflammation. Still, crown mobility cannot go untreated.


Your dentist may need to remove the crown from its post extension. A screw connection can be tightened, and a cemented bond can be reapplied. There may also be damage to the post extension. This could be caused by excessive occlusal forces, such as if you grind your teeth at night. You can receive a special splint to wear at night if grinding is a concern. A post extension can be replaced without disrupting the buried implant. 

Mild crown mobility cannot go without attention, as the crown may eventually detach from its post extension. But rest assured, it's not a major issue involving intensive treatment.

Contact your dentist for more information about dental implants