dental implants

Why Can’t Children Get Dental Implants?

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dental implants KellerDental implants are the best option for replacing missing teeth. Only dental implants replicate the entire structure of the absent tooth, including its root, which plays an important role in stabilizing the jaw.

Patients of any age can lose a tooth, whether it’s to decay or injury, but only those who are beyond their early adolescent years will be eligible for dental implants to replace those teeth.

Dental implants are made of titanium, which allows them to fuse with the jawbone. In doing so, dental implants become a permanent part of the mouth’s structure.

For this reason, dental implants should only be placed in patients whose bone growth and development is complete. In children and adolescents, the bone is continuing to evolve. If an oral surgeon places dental implants in such young placements, there’s a risk that the implant will shift as the jaw continues to develop.

If the dental implant does move out of its proper position as the jaw structure matures, it can create major problems that may require a second procedure to correct. Ideally, it’s best to wait a few years before placing a dental implant in a growing child.

Although dental implants are not suitable for the majority of children, some young patients may be eligible for dental implants as part of an overarching orthodontic treatment plan. This approach may be considered for particularly difficult cases in which dental implants are the only feasible tooth replacement option.

At the same time, an orthodontist may use appliances to preserve a space in the smile and create an opportunity to have a dental implant placed after jaw growth is complete. The child may have to wear some type of prosthetic device for a few years, but it will ultimately be worthwhile because the dental implant may have a better chance of long-term success.

Parents of children who are missing a permanent tooth should consult with an oral surgeon and an orthodontist to learn more about potential treatment options. Contact Northern Texas Facial & Oral Surgery in Keller TX at 817-379-1654 to schedule an exam.


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