Children And Dental Implants: Why Age Matters

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Teeth play an important role in everyday life, from the consumption of food to social interactions. Considering the fact nearly all adults (99.7%) believe that a healthy smile is necessary for social success, it’s no wonder that so many have sought out dental implants to replace their missing or damaged teeth. If you’ve got a child who has suffered an accident and lost a tooth themselves, you may think to get them fitted for a dental implant; however, even if your child has no baby teeth left and lost a permanent tooth, dental implants are not the recommended option. Let’s find out why.

The Importance Of Bone Development

As children grow, their bones move and shift, and their jaws and teeth are no exception. Because dental implants are fused directly to the jaw, they could cause serious complications if they are placed before the jaw and teeth have finished developing. Not only will the final result look bizarre against their natural teeth (they tend to look extra long and out of alignment with their pearly neighbors), they can also impede jaw growth or stop the remaining teeth from growing into their natural positions.

Clearly, this makes age a crucial factor in determining whether a patient will be a good candidate for dental implants. Though everybody grows at their own individual pace, many dentists agree that girls aged 18 and above and boys aged 20 and above are likely to be given the green light. However, that is not guaranteed: your dentist should take a thorough medical history to ensure the best possible outcome.

Temporary Solutions

Just because your child isn’t old enough to receive implants doesn’t mean they have to spend the next few years with a hole in their smile; in fact, that missing tooth can cause problems if it isn’t replaced. The surrounding teeth may grow in crooked, cause chewing difficulties, and can even lead to bone loss in the jaw. Instead, artificial teeth can be made to match the shape and color of your child’s natural teeth. They are usually held in place with braces or clear aligners, guaranteeing that the temporary tooth doesn’t fall out.

The state of your child’s smile can play a big role in their lives, so we understand why you’re so eager to fix it. Though they may not be able to receive dental implants quite yet, they can always pursue that option once they stop growing. If you have any questions regarding the procedure or other options, be sure to ask your doctor what they recommend.

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