Dealing with a Loose Implant Crown: Your Complete Guide

Handling dental issues, such as a loose crown implant, can often be alarming.  This article provides a systematic guide to help you effectively manage loose crown implants and how to get the best care from a dental professional.

What happens when an implant crown is loose?

When an implant crown becomes loose, it is not secured correctly to the abutment, or that implant failure has occurred.  If unchecked, this loose movement may cause irritation and discomfort to the surrounding tissues, potentially leading to infections.

As a result, fundamental activities such as chewing food or speaking could become increasingly complex and painful.

What are the symptoms of a loose dental implant crown?

A woman who is experiencing pain and discomfort caused by a loose implant crown

One of the primary symptoms of a loose crown implant is discomfort or pain when applying pressure on the implant.

Loose dental implant symptoms can include:

  • Discomfort or pain.
  • Audible clicking sounds while eating or speaking.
  • Changes in bite.
  • Noticeable movement in the dental implant screw.

Why do implant crowns come loose?

Although designed to be durable and long-lasting, implant crowns may sometimes come loose for various reasons.  Understanding these causes can help prevent loosening and increase the longevity of your implant crown.

Common causes of a loose crown implant

A man in front of the mirror with his loose implant crown
  • Normal wear and tear: Just like your natural teeth, crown implants experience wear and tear from chewing and grinding, making the crown lo0se over time.
  • Improper fit: If the crown implant is not correctly fitted, it could become loose, highlighting the importance of ensuring a proper fit during the initial crown placement.
  • Dental trauma: Any sudden impact or injury to the mouth can cause an implant crown to loosen.  This can happen during sporting events, accidents, or even by biting on hard food.
  • Insufficient bone support: The crown may become loose without enough bone structure to support the implant.  For instance, individuals with osteoporosis are at higher risk of crown implant loosening.  
  • Poor oral hygiene: Inadequate oral care can lead to gum disease and other dental health problems, compromising the crown implant's stability.

Immediate actions to take when your crown implant comes loose

A woman is rinsing her mouth with salt water

If your dental crown implant becomes loose, acting promptly is essential.  Follow these well-outlined steps to prevent further damage:

  1. Do not panic: Although the disruption of a crown may cause alarm, note that it's not dangerous per se, although immediate measures must be taken.
  2. Assess the situation: Carefully examine your mouth.  Determine whether it's genuinely the crown that's dislodged or another issue.  Avoid touching it directly with your fingers.  Instead, use a mirror to help guide your examination.
  3. Carefully remove: If the crown is completely loose, carefully remove it to avoid swallowing or choking.  Rinse it gently and keep it in a safe place.
  4. Clean the area: Rinse your mouth with warm salt water.  This will help to clean the area and prevent infection.
  5. Make an appointment: Contact your dentist, explain the situation accurately, and make an urgent appointment.

Putting off visiting the dentist can lead to further complications such as tooth decay or infection of surrounding gums. So, it's essential to act promptly.

Home remedies to temporarily secure a loose crown implant

Denture adhesive

Sometimes, seeking immediate professional dental help may not be readily accessible.  In those instances, there are home remedies that can be useful to secure a loose crown implant temporarily:

  • Over-the-counter dental cement: Available in drugstores, dental cement can be used as a temporary binding material for your loose crown.  However, a quick solution and a dental appointment should be scheduled soon.
  • Denture adhesive: A denture adhesive also serves as a helpful alternative in the absence of dental cement.  It should be sparingly applied to avoid spillover and development of possible infection.
  • Toothpaste: Common toothpaste can help in temporarily securing the crown.  Although its binding strength is lesser than dental cement or denture adhesive, it can provide a temporary solution.
  • Oil of cloves (Eugenol): Eugenol, found in the oil of cloves, is a natural analgesic and can be used to alleviate pain associated with loose crowns.  However, its application should be done meticulously, avoiding the root or gums.

Please note such remedies only provide a temporary solution. You should arrange a dental appointment at your earliest convenience to address the issue adequately.

What happens if you don't take action when you lose your crown implant?

Tooth damage caused by loose implant crown

Ignoring a loose or lost crown implant can lead to many problems.  The damaged or exposed region tends to be highly vulnerable to bacteria and infection, which can significantly increase the likelihood of complications, including the following:

  • Infection: The exposed area underneath the crown can serve as a fertile breeding ground for bacteria, leading to an infection.
  • Tooth damage: Without the protective cover of the crown, the remaining tooth is susceptible to further damage, including decay.
  • Compromised oral function: Chewing, biting, and essential functions may become challenging or uncomfortable, potentially affecting nutrition and speech.

Note: These problems tend to escalate the more time passes without treatment, transforming what could be a straightforward fix into a more complex dental procedure.

What are alternative treatment options for loose dental implant crowns?

When a dental crown implant becomes loose or falls out, multiple treatment options are available.  Understanding these alternatives will help you discuss the best action plan and remedy with your dental professional.

1.  Re-cementing the existing crown

One of the most common solutions to a loose or lost crown implant is simply re-cementing the original crown back into place.  This assumes the crown is still in good shape and can be safely reattached.  However, this approach is primarily used when the looseness is due to the failure of the dental cement.

2.  Crown replacement

If the crown is damaged or decaying, it might need to be replaced entirely.  A new crown mimics the original tooth and helps reinstate full functionality and aesthetics.  This is generally the approach when the patient hasn't noticed that the crown has loosened over time and the structure has been compromised.

3.  Dental implant rehabilitation

Dental implant rehabilitation

In cases where the dental implant supporting the crown fails, dental implant rehabilitation may be necessary.  This complex procedure can involve removing the failed implant, bone grafting, and installing a new implant.

4.  Dental bridge

Dental bridges are another treatment option when a crown implant fails.  This treatment replaces the missing tooth by bridging the gap with artificial teeth held in place with crowns attached to adjacent teeth.

5.  Partial dentures

Finally, partial dentures or remountable prosthetics can be considered.  These are removable false teeth designed to replace one or several missing teeth.

What other treatment options are available for loose teeth other than crown implants?

A woman is checking her loose teeth to get treatment

If you are struggling with loose teeth or need to replace missing teeth, various treatment options are available to you, apart from crown implants:

  • Dental splinting: This procedure is where your dentist links several teeth together to add stability.  It is specifically helpful for loose teeth caused by gum disease.  The process typically employs a composite resin that bonds the loose teeth to the adjacent ones, enhancing their strength.
  • Periodontal surgery: If poor oral health or severe gum disease is to blame for your loose teeth, your dentist might recommend periodontal surgery.  This procedure eliminates infection in the gum tissue and reduces gum pocket depths, directly addressing the root causes of loose teeth.
  • Root canals: At times, teeth might loosen due to infection in the dental pulp.  This can cause your tooth root to be reabsorbed into the body, ultimately leading to tooth displacement.  A root canal comes in handy to treat the infection and restore tooth stability.
  • Dental bonding: Dental bonding might be an option for less severe cases.  Using a robust and tooth-colored resin, your dentist can reshape or rebuild your affected tooth, re-establishing its stability.

Remember, the most preferable treatment will depend on your loose tooth's specific nature.  Generally, you must consult your dentist for a comprehensive examination to guide the best line of treatment.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can a loose crown tighten back up?

No, a loose crown cannot tighten back up on its own, necessitating professional dental intervention to rectify the issue correctly and safely.

Is it normal for an implant crown to become slightly loose?

In general, it is not normal when an implant is loose after initial healing and proper installation, indicating a need for immediate dental attention if it occurs.


Selecting a competent dentist for dental implant crown services cannot be overstated.  A proficient and experienced dentist ensures proper installation of the implant crown and appropriate management should the crown become loose.  Prioritizing professional dental implant dentistry care safeguards oral health and patient satisfaction in the long run.

Discuss your options with your dentist to determine the best action, and contact Main Street Dental today!