When a child loses a permanent tooth, parents may want to explore dental implants as a possible tooth replacement solution. Understandably, dental implants offer the most structurally complete tooth replacement and preserve the functionality and the appearance of the biological tooth. However, because their jaws are still developing, children typically are not good candidates for dental implants.
If an oral surgeon placed a dental implant in a child’s jaw, there is a high likelihood that the dental implant would move out of the desired position as the jaw continued to grow and develop. Therefore, it is preferred to wait until jaw growth is complete before placing dental implants in children and adolescents.
There may be some exceptions in which a child can get a dental implant as part of an overarching orthodontic treatment plan that helps to ensure the permanent positioning of the implant. However, these cases are quite rare.
Just because children and younger teens are not suitable for dental implants right away after losing a permanent tooth, it doesn’t mean that the treatment is completely out of reach. A dentist or orthodontist can fit the child with a prosthetic tooth that can serve as a placeholder until the jaw is fully developed and the oral surgeon can insert the dental implant at the site with more predictable results. You can explore this option if your child has lost a tooth.
Benefits of Dental Implants
Your child will eventually gain numerous benefits if you choose to pursue a dental implant at the appropriate time. Dental implants are more stable over time than conventional prosthetics, like fixed dental bridges. This is particularly important in the case of a child, who will have the replacement tooth for many decades. Additionally, dental implants tend to be more effective at chewing, so your child can continue to eat healthy foods like fresh fruits and vegetables.
Although your child is not likely to be able to get a dental implant immediately following tooth loss, this treatment can be an option after jaw growth is complete if the proper steps are taken. Call our team at Northern Texas Facial & Oral Surgery to learn more about how this process can work.