Healing caps or healing abutments help surrounding gum tissue to heal after a dental implant. Once the gums have healed correctly, healing caps are replaced with permanent abutments, which are the pieces that connect the implant to the dental crown.
When patients call saying that their dental implant fell off, most of the times, it is the upper attachment or abutment screw that’s fallen off and not the actual implant. It is a rare possibility for the actual dental implant to fall out. However, if the implant really falls out, the patient needs to be examined and given other suitable options.
Read more about : Dental Implant Failure
The Healing Abutment Screw Fell Out
This happens due to various reasons and patients are typically requested to come back to the dental office to get the screw re-attached. There is no reason to panic if this screw falls off but if this happens more often, then the crown procedure may get a little complicated.
When the patient comes in with a fallen abutment screw, we usually discard the one that’s fallen off, (if the patient brings it in) and simply attach a new one by more tightening. The abutment screw can fall out because it’s not fully in place and also because it is being resisted by the bone or gum tissue.
We also advise patients to not eat anything hard or use that side of the mouth to chew until the implant is healed. If the healing abutment screw falls off repeatedly, we advise the patient to come in only a day or so before their implant crown appointment. During this visit we would do a small laser cut procedure in order to move the soft tissue away, in order to make space for the implant crown. Some people have a tendency for the healing abutment screw to fall off.
Read more about : Bone Grafting Surgery
The Healing Cap Came off My Dental Implant - What Do I Do?
The healing cap coming off is rare, but it does happen, and it’s not a huge cause for concern. In case you swallow the cap, it will probably pass through your system undetected. Because of its smooth shape, it’s incredibly unlikely to cause any issues for you at all in this respect.
if this happens months into the healing phase, the soft tissue around your dental implant will be healed by then, which means the risk of infection is extremely low as well. However, if you injure or traumatize the area, you could cause a problem. Just be very gentle around it and try to stick with soft foods until you can have it replaced.
You’ll need to see the doctor who placed the dental implant as soon as possible, but it’s not so urgent and if it’s not possible to see a doctor right away you can take other measures. If the hole is bothersome or you’re catching food in it, you can try packing cotton or gauze in it. A denture adhesive may also work, but don’t attach anything permanent to it- only use temporary materials that are designed to go in your mouth. You can find these in the dental section of most grocery or drug stores. Yes, you’ll have to replace it frequently, but it’s the safest option.
Long-term, this should not affect your dental implant. However, if you go without the cap for too long, the tissue around it can collapse or try to heal over the top. Obviously, this will make it much more difficult to get a good fit when the doctor goes to place the permanent crown on it later. This won’t happen over the course of a weekend, but it’s something to keep in mind so, don’t put off your office visit for too long.