Fractured Dental Implant After An Accident: What You Need To Do

Dental implants are incredibly strong. The implant's rod, which serves as an artificial root structure, is made of sturdy titanium, and the prosthetic tooth attached to it is typically made of porcelain. An implant is arguably stronger than a natural tooth but is by no means invulnerable to damage. When trauma to the jaw (generally caused by an accident) is sufficiently strong, it's possible for an implant to fracture.

Emergency Treatment Is Required

A fractured implant is difficult to conclusively diagnose at the time, although after suffering trauma to the jaw, it's important to seek emergency dental treatment. Damage may not be limited to a single tooth, meaning that both your implant and the surrounding natural teeth might be in jeopardy.

Pain, Bleeding, Loosening

While the various components of the implant are artificial and incapable of registering pain, the surrounding tissues may react to the fracture. There can be bleeding in the soft tissues at the base of the implant, and the experience is likely to be painful. The implant may also have loosened. 

The Implant's Specifications Play a Role

The degree of damage to an implant can be affected by the implant's specifications and initial placement. Implants are available in a variety of widths and lengths, and an implant that was too short or narrow can be more susceptible to fracturing as the result of trauma. If the implant's length and width were thought to be a contributing factor to the fracture, this will be remedied by replacing the implant. 

Types of Fracture

The implant's titanium rod is connected to the prosthetic tooth with an abutment, which is also usually made of titanium. If both the implant rod and abutment have fractured (after being confirmed with an X-ray), then this damage is considered to be irreparable. The implant must be removed and replaced as soon as it's practical to do so (after any secondary localized damage has healed). If only the abutment has fractured, then it — along with the prosthetic tooth bonded to it — will require replacement, with the titanium rod remaining functional. 

It is important to provide the right care to your teeth, no matter what. As such, a fractured dental implant needs immediate attention from a dentist. If your own dentist isn't available, contact an after-hours emergency dentist. In addition to pain and bleeding, a fractured implant can lose its functionality, making quick treatment absolutely vital.