I had a dental implant placed in the early 2000s. They put a crown on top of it. In the last month, it started getting wobbly. I went to see my dentist who told me that the dental implant was infected. His suggestion was to remove it and then replace the empty space with a dental bridge. I really do not want to grind down healthy teeth. Why can’t I just take antibiotics to get rid of the infection and keep the implant, leaving my healthy teeth alone?
When a dental implant gets infected, it is actually the surrounding bone that develops the infection, which causes that bone to be lost. This is why your implant feels wobbly. Even if an antibiotic eliminated the current infection, it would not be able to regenerate the lost bone. A loose dental implant will fall out.
Options for Replacing Your Dental Implant
While the plan your dentist presented is a valid option, it is not your only option. Dentists are under an ethical obligation to provide you with all of your options. I am sorry that yours did not.
If your adjacent teeth needed work anyway, then a dental bridge would make sense. However, your teeth are healthy. I definitely understand your hesitation to grind them down.
If you would still like to have a dental implant, then the path to take would be to remove the dental implant. After the infection is cleared up, you can have a bone grafting procedure done to build back up the lost bone structure. Once that has healed, you can have another dental implant placed.
There are also less expensive options such as a removable partial denture or even a dental flipper, neither of which would require grinding down your teeth. If you want the implant but don’t have the money at the moment, you could get one of the cheaper options as a temporary solution while you save up for the secure replacement.
This blog is brought to you by Hoffman Estates Dentist Dr. William Becker.