Why do dental implant screws loosen?

To put yourself in context, you must first know that a dental implant consists of 3 parts:

– Implant itself: It is a device that is implanted in the jawbone and resembles the root of a tooth.

– Pillar or screw: It is a small screw that serves as a connector between the implant and the prosthesis.

– Prosthesis: It is the artificial tooth or crown, the visible part of the implant.

A dental implant shouldn't move, and while a loose screw can be fixed quickly with a visit to the dentist, it is important to determine why the screw came loose in the first place, to prevent it from happening again.

The main reasons dental implant screws loosen are as follows:

Occlusal overload

This is the most common cause of dental implant screws loosening and is usually due to a prosthesis that does not fit properly over the screw. This is the force that is exerted on the dental implant. It is up to the specialist to ensure that the occlusal load is not excessive, as this not only loosens the screws but can fracture them.

Patients with bruxism

Bruxism is when the patient unconsciously grinds his teeth. In this case, the force exerted on the teeth and implants is much greater than normal and can loosen screws or even fracture the implant or crown. It is important to keep the bruxism under control for the treatment to be successful.

Defects in the manufacture of the implant

The defect of any of the implant parts is always a possibility, however, this risk decreases considerably when choosing a high-quality brand, since manufacturers follow very rigorous quality controls to ensure the perfect functioning of each of their products. .

Therefore, we suggest you always choose quality brands such as Strauman or Biocare, among others, although this may possibly make the price of dental implants be a little higher.

Bad choice of implants

A vital aspect in the treatment of dental implants is the material from which the implant is made, this must be titanium, since the material is biocompatible and the risk of presenting symptoms of dental implant rejection decreases.

In addition to the material, the correct coupling of each of its parts must be verified. The use of different trademarks for each implant component should be avoided, as although all are of high quality, the parts may not work well together as they were not specifically designed to fit parts from other manufacturers .

Because repeated screw misalignment can cause treatment failure, many dental implant manufacturers offer anti-rotation systems that prevent screws from loosening.

Screws wrongly tightened

The specialist must be careful when tightening the screw, as too gentle a force will cause the implant screws to loosen constantly. But on the other hand, excessive force will result in fracture of the screw or some part of the implant.

Most manufacturers offer together with their implants, screwdrivers designed for a more precise manual adjustment and also mechanical adjustment systems that make sure to exert an exact force thus guaranteeing the success of the implant.

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What are the consequences of a loose screw in the dental implant?

Every time an implant screw is loosened, the patient must go to the specialist to have it screwed in correctly. This translates into more frequent visits to the dental clinic, but in addition to this, more severe complications may occur, for example:

Mobility of the prosthesis.

Fracture of the screw or other part of the implant.

Fracture of the prosthesis.

Mucosal seal rupture.

These complications are usually very uncomfortable and even painful for the patient and in many cases cause the failure of the dental implant, which means that the implant must be removed in its entirety and although this does not mean that the patient cannot get a new implant , repeating the process will be tedious and logically more expensive.

What happens if a screw breaks inside the implant?

The fractured screw needs to be removed and replaced with a new one, however this sounds simpler than it actually is as even though many manufacturers offer screw removal kits it is not always possible to do so.

Sometimes the screws chip or impact the walls of the implant and it is impossible to remove it.

If after using the available instruments, ultrasound techniques, etc., the screw DOES NOT move, the only solution will be to remove the implant completely.

How to prevent dental implant screws from loosening?

For a dental implant to be successful, the following conditions must be met:

– Good quality implants.

– Prostheses that fit correctly.

– Skills and professional experience.

– Post-operative care by the patient.

Currently there are various types of dental implants designed to prevent screw loosening, a good implant choice according to the patient's needs, radiological and periodontal studies that certify that the patient is in a position to receive an implant and a good surgical technique. On the part of the specialized dentist, they play an essential role in preventing further complications or discomfort.

But in addition to this, you must do your part and follow your dentist's instructions to the letter, as post-operative care will guarantee the correct coupling of the dental implant to your jawbone. You should also keep your post-procedure check-up appointments so the dentist can make sure everything is in order.