Patients may be interested in dental implants as a tooth replacement solution when a child loses a permanent tooth. However, children are typically not good candidates for dental implants. Because the jaw develops until the child is in his or her mid-teens, a dental implant can move out of the desired position if the oral surgeon places it in a younger child.
However, parents who want their children to get a dental implant may have an alternative. It is possible to create a space in the smile using orthodontic treatment, and the oral surgeon can place a dental implant after the child’s jaw is fully developed. In such cases, the surgeon and the orthodontist work closely to plan treatment. The child may be able to get a temporary appliance to complete the smile until dental implant placement is feasible.
When your child’s jaw growth is complete and the child is appropriate for dental implant placement, the procedure can take place in an outpatient setting. It takes only a couple of hours, and many patients are able to resume most normal activity within a few days.
As the only structurally complete tooth replacement currently available, dental implants do offer patients significant benefits. They help to anchor the jaw in the same way that biological teeth’s roots do. Therefore, with dental implants the shape and integrity of the jaw remains stable.
This characteristic of dental implants is particularly valuable for older teens and young adults who will need to maintain the tooth replacement for several decades. In contrast, a conventional dental bridge likely would need to be replaced repeatedly over that same timeframe, as these appliances lose their fit as the jaw’s shape changes.
If your child has lost a permanent tooth and you’re interested in a dental implant as a tooth replacement in the future, schedule a consultation at our office to learn what steps should be taken now in order to maintain that possibility. Contact our office today!