In December I received 3 new dental implants. One of them is noticeably loose. My dentist told me to wear a night guard because I grind my teeth. I don’t wear it because I hate the thing. It’s so hard to get used to it and it’s very difficult to sleep with it. Could my not wearing the night guard have something to do with why the implant is loose? Is this going to happen with the other 2 implants? If so, this is really embarrassing. I am going to have a hard time facing my dentist and telling him that I have not been wearing the night guard. I just want to know in advance before I see him if this could really be my fault. Thank you for your time. T. Phillips

Dear T. Phillips – The only way to be certain about the cause of your loose implant is to have it examined.

A Night Guard Can Protect Your Dental Implants

It is possible that your dental implants are under stress from teeth grinding (bruxism) at night. The biting force of grinding teeth can place too much stress on an implant and can cause it to loosen. If you grind your teeth while you sleep, it is vital to wear a night guard to prevent damage to your dental crowns and implants. The mouthpiece should be worn not only during the healing process but afterward also.

It is best to find out now why your implant has loosened. You have two other implants that need to be watched carefully also. If the preventive measure is as simple as wearing a night guard, it is best for you to know that and ensure the success of your implants.

If a loose implant can’t be stabilized, it will need to be removed. Time is needed for the original site to heal, and a new fixture will have to be placed. Although you might be embarrassed, it’s important to schedule an appointment with your dentist. An excessively uncomfortable night guard needs to be checked for proper fit so you can wear it throughout the night.

This post is sponsored by Colorado Springs dentist Dr. Joseph Rota.