Q: I had an implant placed with a crown attached two months ago. Today I noticed the tooth (crown) is loose. I have no pain, but am worried. What has gone wrong? S.S. in Boca
A: Back in college, I had physics professor who looked like Grouch Marx. His eyebrows looked like to pieces of black electric tape. As a big Marx Brothers fan, I nailed an “A” in the class. The “secret word” today is TORQUE; a force applied in a rotary motion. A precise amount of torque is used to drive the screw-like titanium implant into the jawbone after a threaded tunnel is created with special drills. Over torqueing can cause the implant to fail and loosen (among other reasons). An X-ray and examination will verify if this has happened to you.
Three to four months after an implant is placed, an abutment post, which attaches the crown to the implant with a tiny screw, is driven into the hollow implant with a special torque wrench. If not enough torque is applied, 32 NCM’s (Newton Centimeters), the screw can reverse itself causing the crown to become loose. This is more easily fixed than the former, as the screw just needs to be re-torqued.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Dr. Mitchell Josephs will be giving two FREE LECTURES on Incision-Free Dental Implant Surgery, Digital Crowns & Veneers, Choosing a Dental Office and NEW TOPICS: “Laser Lip and Gum Treatment” and “Why Botox at the Dental Office?”, at the West Palm Beach Downtown Library on Clematis St. on Thursday January 10th at 6:30 PM. To register, call 561-868-7701. And, on Friday February 1st at 10:30 AM at the Boynton J.C.C. on Jog Rd. Call 561-259-3016 to register.
Attendees will receive a FREE copy of his book: “Tooth Talk”. Seating is limited; these seminars fill up rapidly; call today.