A dental implant screw can take much more punishment than a natural tooth's root. As long as your gums are healthy, a titanium dental implant can last a lifetime. However, when it comes to accidents involving a dental implant, while the titanium screw will probably survive, there are other more fragile elements that might not.
If you fear that your dental implant may be damaged, follow these tips.
Check Dental Implant Stability
It is highly unlikely that trauma to your implant will break the titanium screw. A more likely outcome is that the bone supporting the screw has been damaged. To find out if this is the case, gently check the stability of your dental implant with your tongue. If there is movement, this could indicate that the bone around the implant has been damaged.
Unlike natural teeth, which you can move very slightly with a little pressure, dental implants should not move at all. However, before you assume the worst, you need to rule out other possible causes of movement.
Examine the Implant Crown
What condition is the implant crown in? Much like enamel, porcelain is brittle. This means a solid blow could crack or dislodge a porcelain crown, causing it to become loose. Check the condition of the implant crown. When a porcelain crown breaks, your dentist can easily replace that crown, at a cost.
Provided the dental implant and its supporting bone are intact, you can then go on using the implant. However, if the implant crown does not appear to be damaged but there is still movement, the abutment screw might be damaged.
Check the Abutment Screw
The crown part of an implant is attached to the main body of the implant via an abutment screw. If this screw breaks, your dentist can remove it from the implant and replace it with a new one. You should then be able to comfortably use the dental implant again.
Look for Other Symptoms
In the event that your implant is stable, check for other signs of trauma. Bleeding, for example, could indicate gum trauma, as could pain. However, no matter how mild the damage appears to be, the presence of pain and blood could indicate internal trauma.
Since dental implants do not have periodontal ligaments like natural teeth, disruption of the supporting bone could lead to eventual implant failure.
If you suspect that you have damaged a dental implant, see your dentist or prosthodontist immediately. Even what appears to be minor damage can lead to the failure of a dental implant, especially where the supporting bone is concerned.