Crown Loose: Recommendations?

AJ, a patient from Mississippi, asks for help:

I had a dental implant put in 4 years ago. I have returned to my dentist 3 times because the crown became loose. Now after seeing a different dentist who reviewed my x-rays for the past 4 years, he says that the abutment was never properly seated onto the implant and that is why the crown keeps coming loose. After cutting off the crown and removing the abutment the screw is stuck fast in the dental implant and he cannot get it out. What do you recommend to correct this?

22 thoughts on “Crown Loose: Recommendations?

  1. Alejandro Berg says:

    Do to the nature of the problem I am assuming this is an internal conection implant.
    Many implants like zimmer or straumann implants have friction, due to this the abutment is hard to remove.
    The only thing he needs is a retrieval screw or retrieval wrench. This are very easy to use, just insert and screw clockwise untill the abutment becomes loose.
    If this is an astra implant things are a little harder but same principle.
    best of luck

  2. Dr John A Murray says:

    The problem is not related to the initial seating of the abutment. Assuming the crown and abut CAN seat ok, the 2nd fixing would have cured this.

    Some systems to make provision for screw-lossening, but whether or not this is so, damaged or fractured screws periodically prove problematic.

    Let me know the implant system, and I’ll give you the most up-to-date soln.

    Dr John A Murray

  3. JA says:

    Let me understand this, The crown was loose?? or kept coming off? but now the crown is cut off and the abutment cant come out? Crown’s falling off are for several different reasons. In my experience the most common reason that crowns fall out whether they are on teeth or on implants is insufficient crown height. i.e. either the tooth is broken down so much and very little of it is left for the crown to hang on to or the abutment is not thick or tall enough ( usually a problem with a pre-fab Abutment) or even more so you bite/occlusion is off. Several different ways to look at it. As for removing a torqued abutment screw, like they DDS above mentioned depending on the system some have friction lock system that need a special removal tool.
    Good Luck

  4. Dennis says:

    This reads as though the screw has broken, as Dr. Murray suggests, and remains in the fixture.
    There were several good posts a couple of months ago regarding broken screw removal

  5. berry says:

    I am confused. the crown kept coming loose but not the abutment or was it both the abutment and crown. If it were the former, the crown should have been removed and the abutment loosened and reseated and a new crown made.. if it was the latter you should have cut off the crown, reseated the abutment or made a new abutment then a new crown. Also until the occlusion is set and refined to be maximal, implant screws and abutment tend to come loose. If it was an external hex and the screw is broken off in the implant , it would require a number of steps. first if it were loose, you try to tease it out with an explorer. It has taken me up to a 1/2 hr to do it at times. If it is truely ” stuck” then you have no choice but to drill it out and retap the implant. Kits are available from various manufacturers.
    Good luck

  6. Charles Bretz says:

    I have Straumann inplants to hold my lower dentures in place. The problem is, they do not hold the teeth in place. The dentist fixes this but within weeks, or even the next day, the denture comes out again, especiall when eating. What can be done to fix this permanently? Not only has the dentist worked on this but also a couple of Straumann factory reps have been on hand. No one seems to know what the cause is and I am getting very frustrated. Thank you.

  7. ElieVictor says:

    Dear Charles Bretz
    What kind of Straumann abutments are holding the overdenture?
    If you have ball abutments torqued at 35 Newton your dentist should change the holding titanium matrixes. If you have a bar the riders should be changed.
    Hope my comments will help
    Send me a more detailed info
    Elie Victor


  8. Ophelia says:

    I had my crown cemented to my Straumann implant about a year ago and it had come off 4 times since then. Every time I went back to my dentist, he assured me that he used a stronger cement and it would work, but each time, it had disappointed me.
    The implant was placed at a slanted position to avoid a sinus lift. I believe my problem lies with the slanted abutment and not the cement. Any comment?

  9. Dr. Bill Woods says:

    To A.J.the Mississippi patient:
    Was your problem solved? I am from Meridian and would like to know and help if I can if you are close. It has been awhile since you posted this problem.
    To Charles, I hope yours was solved as well. let us know what happened. And Ophelia, sorry, but your crown should stay. In my view, implants should not be placed just to avoid the sinus but placed to support the crown in the proper vertical position. If the implant position involves encroaching the sinus, the a sinus lift to augment the area should be done in most cases.Possibly a shorter implant might be a solution. There are cases for off angled placement but if this is a single crown, I would think this isnt one of them, but I dont have an xray and model. fr me to feel confident about my implant placement, I tell my patients that they will need a lift to give the implant crown longevity. A stronger cement isnt working, so something has to be happening. There are also other factors to look at such as occlusion (your bite), chewing habits, abutment type, crown height, abutment anatomy, or partial dentures that may torque the crown. Hope this helps.

  10. Jim Morrison says:

    I have a theoretical question: suppose a crown is temp cemented to the abutment on a single-tooth implant, and the screw becomes loose. Can the crwon be popped off with a crown puller without damaging the screw threads?

  11. satish joshi says:

    Yes,If your prep is not very retentive and cement used is tempbond type.But you have to gain access to abutment either thru gingival retraction or small flap and hold on to abutment very firmly with narrow beak hemostat and use another hemostat to loosen crown from an abtment.
    Best bet is to drill a hole in occlusal suface holding a crown with hemostat, and tighten screw.

  12. Ophelia says:

    To Dr. Bill Woods,

    Thank you for your comment.

    My dentist replaced my crown that kept falling off with a ‘smaller’ crown (It is slightly shorter that the adjacent teeth). It had lasted me another 5 months since then (which is longer compared to an average 2-3 months previously) and yesterday, it fell off again!

    I am getting mad with my crown. My dentist mentioned about changing the abutment. The thought of unscrewing it makes me tremble. Will the abutment break and get stuck in the process of unscrewing it? And does it hurt? I read that Straumann implant has friction and it is difficult to unscrew.

    I have a crazy thought that perhaps I should buy some dental cement from my dentist and do it myself the next time it comes off again. Do you think this is feasible?

  13. Donna Campbell says:

    I went for a dental check-up and my dentist said she noticed my implant crown was loose. I went to a specialist who said it would be a simple procedure of drilling the crown, tourquing the screw and refilling the crown. Not so. The dentist did not have the correct size wrench so he said the screw must be broken (it wasn’t) and proceeded to drill out the tooth. I was charged almost $200 for this. So instead of a simple fix I am left with no implant crown and a sharp piece of implant metal in my mouth. I will need a new implant and implant crown for something that could have been a quick fix. Do I have any recourse for this? I really don’t want to go back to this dentist but do want my implant fixed.

  14. Linda Filbern says:

    Just a question in response to Donna Campbell.
    When the crown became loose, did you go back to the dentist who placed it? If so, he should have had the proper wrench. If not, are you sure the dentist just said the screw was broken because he didn’t have the right wrench? Maybe it was broken. These things get extremely complicated and expensive sometimes even with the best care and qualified dentists.

  15. Wendy Wallach says:

    The crown on my dental implant just fell off. It is Saturday night…do I need to call my prosthodontist tonight or tomorrow or can it stay out until Monday? I saw the oral surgeon yesterday, when I found it was loose, and it is not a bony failure, just a problem with the crown that has been fine for 5 years.

  16. Jean says:

    Donna,… If worse comes to worse, you can always file a complaint with your state’s Dental Board. I hope that it doesn’t have to come to this but if you know the dentist did not tell you the truth, after a 2nd opinion, you should file a complaint.

  17. mark says:

    At the last stage of my implant (removing the temp crown for molding the final crown) procedure, the dentist used a tapping of increased force to remove my temp crown. It would not come off, so more tapping until it hurt with each whack to remove the temp crown. Finally, the whole implant broke integration, with movement of the temp tooth and implant. I stopped the procedure. After research, it seems that failure at this stage is very rare, i.e., implants usually hold over 90% of the time. So, did my dentist cause the break in integration with the hard tapping (it felt like a hammer and I needed anesthesia to continue)? What is my best option from here? Remove the whole implant and start again? BTW, the implant was done four months ago, so maybe it will take longer for integration? Last, I seriously thought my jaw bone would break with the hammering on my temp tooth to remove it–my head was recoiling from the blows. Is this normal? It seems to me this caused the break in integration and the current condition of total movement of the implant & temp tooth. Should I try another implant…with a different dentist? How long can I leave the mobile implant before making a decision? Thanks in advance.

  18. haley says:

    I had a temp partial on the my tooth, they sawed my tooth down and had a piece sticking up and the partial fit on it today the temporary partial broke off the tooth with the one piece of my tooth that was still there how do i get this fixed pls help me

  19. Elizabeth M. says:

    I had two dental implants done in my upper right back teeth. It was done by a high end dentist here in Houston, Texas, who charged me almost $6000 a piece total. My crowns were put on in May and in June one of the crowns cracked into two pieces. He replaced the crown and now it has cracked, again 5 months later, into two pieces. Both times I was left with the abutment visible in my mouth and a hole where there should have been a tooth. I stopped seeing this dentist after the crown broke the first time.

    I have contacted this dentist and am seeing him tomorrow. My question is why would these crown break, can I get a refund and what is my recourse. I am not willing to walk away from a $6000 investment when I wanted a bridge but he said he would not guarantee it and wanted me to sign something to that effect.

    Thanks Elizabeth M.

  20. Mr. Kahn says:

    Wow! what a great website, article and feedback!! Million of thanks to you all for keep answering and resolving our doubts!

    I’ve got teeth clenching during night (bruxism) and got an implant 13 months ago. It ossified properly. 1 month ago I got my crown done and it’s loose.

    I remember dentist said that abutment was so perfect and fitted into the implant that when he put cement in the crown, there was no space for it. My worry is that if crown was fitting so ‘perfectly’ into the implant, Is it possible that in 1 month I could’ve broken the screw/abutment ?

  21. Steve says:

    My dds wanted to re-do my crown do to gaps. How many times can the abutment screw be loosed and tighten without significantly stressing it, without increasing risk of breaking?
    I have an old type Calcitek titanium implant form 1980’s.


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