Don't Let a Missing Tooth Hold You Back in Life

Got A Dental Implant? Watch Out For These Four Signs Of Implant Overload

by Wyatt Morgan

An implant is overloaded if it attempts to bear greater forces than it was designed to bear. Ideally, you should have one dental implant for each missing tooth. Due to budgetary constraints, however, some people make do with less than that ratio. This can lead to implant overload and eventual failure of the implant. Here are four symptoms that may mean your dental implant is overloaded:

Loose Screws

One of the common signs of implant overload is loose abutment screw. The screw secures the abutment to the implant. This means a loose screw may be evidenced by the movement of the crown. Other signs and symptoms of a loose screw include pain/discomfort, bad odor/taste, and redness/swelling around the tissues. Your bite (the manner in which the lower and upper teeth meet) may also feel strange or distorted since the loosened screw may raise the implant.

Crestal Bone Loss

The crestal bone surrounds and supports the tooth. If the implant is experiencing higher forces than it can handle, then the crestal bone will be affected and experience resorption. The bone resorption, which is progressive, will only be marginal at the beginning. Left unchecked, it can lead to implant failure because bone density is one of the essential factors for proper integration between the implant and your natural bone tissues.


It is not surprising that implant overload can lead to inflammation of the tissues surrounding the implant. As explained above, the overloading forces loosen the abutment screw, which also affects the crown. This leads to movements of the dental restorations, which bruise the surrounding tissues and causes them to inflame.


Sadly, implant overload can also lead to the dreaded peri-implant infection, which is a serious infection of the tissues (gums and bones) surrounding the implant. The risk is especially higher if you have a pre-existing periodontal disease or sub-par oral hygiene. It seems that the movements of the dental restorations bruise the surrounding tissues and expose them to bacterial attacks. It is easier for bacteria to attack bruised tissues than healthy ones. This is one of the reasons it's advisable to treat such preexisting conditions before getting an implant.

You should suspect that you are dealing with an implant overload if you notice the signs and symptoms above. Consult your dentist for a professional diagnosis and intervention; don't rely on pain medications and home treatments. Unchecked implant overload can lead to implant failure. Treatments include adjustment, bone graft, and removal of infected tissues.