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What Will Happen If I Pull Out a Loose Dental Implant?

top left first molar implant is loose. After I left a message with my dentist, he called back and said he wanted to refer me to a periodontist who might be able to save the implant. But my appointment with the periodontist is not until late next week. If the implant continues to loosen, can I pull it out myself? Or should I call for an emergency appointment with a dentist in the practice? Thank you. Max from Colorado


Thank you for your question.

Should You Pull Out a Loose Dental Implant?

We would advise you not to pull out the loose dental implant. If a periodontist can save it, you decrease the chances by pulling it out. As with natural tooth roots, the surgical site will begin to fill in with tissue when an implant is missing. If necessary, the periodontist’s office for an urgent visit rather than scheduling an urgent appointment with a general dentist.

What Causes Loose Dental Implants?

Loose dental implants can occur after implant surgery or after placing your final crown. A dentist must wait until the implant and your jawbone fuse before placing the implant crowns. But what can cause implants to loosen?

Dental implant loosening early in the process

  • Improper placement
  • Smoking or any tobacco use during the healing process
  • Not enough bone volume
  • Gum disease
  • Medical issues that affect wound healing
  • Trauma during implant surgery

Dental implant loosening later in the process

  • Infection
  • Gum disease
  • Poor-fitting or incorrectly placed implant crown, bridge, or denture
  • Faulty implant roots or parts
  • Oral trauma

How Will a Doctor Treat Your Loose Implant?

Dental implant parts separated and two complete dental implants
Loose implants are a dental emergency

How a doctor treats your loose implant depends on why it is loose. The periodontist will take x-rays and determine what caused the looseness by examining these areas:

  • Gums
  • Bone
  • Implant root
  • Implant crown
  • Abutment (connector between the crown and implant)

If the issue is with the dental implant root, the periodontist must remove it. You may require bone grafting to support the next implant. Afterward, you can expect three to four months of healing if the periodontist removes the implant and you need bone grafting.

After an examination and x-rays, the periodontist will explain your treatment options.


Jerry Woolf, DDS of Bakersfield, CA, sponsors this post. Dr. Woolf and his team partner with board-certified specialists to ensure precise implant placement and predictable results. If you have a dental implant emergency we can connect you with a specialist.

Read our post, Where Should I Go for a Dental Emergency?, to explore when to see a dentist.