A question we receive quite often is whether parents should obtain dental implants for children. There isn’t really a clear-cut answer. However, we often advise parents to hold off on implants for their little ones until they reach their teens.
Why Dental Implants for Children may not Be Appropriate
Children are usually not a candidate for implants because their jaw bones are still growing. An implant may shift out of its proper location as the bone develops. An implant shifts because it lacks periodontal ligaments (PDL) that are present in real teeth. PDLs are a group of connective tissue fibers that connect the tooth to the jawbone. This enables the tooth to shift and maintain its correct relative position as the jawbone is growing.
For girls, the jawbone isn’t fully developed until around 14–15 years of age. For boys, full development occurs a bit later, at around 17 years of age. In any case, a dentist will need to examine the child to make a final determination.
What Are the Alternatives?
Fear not if your child doesn’t qualify for dental implants. If the tooth came out naturally, then no action needs to be taken because that is simply the baby tooth coming out to make room for the permanent molar. However, for post-adolescent children who lose a permanent tooth, one alternative is a denture that fills in the gap. Once the jawbone is fully developed, we can remove the denture and replace it with a permanent implant.
Let a Qualified Dentist Have a Look
Call 1895 Dental Implants to get in touch with a number of our participating dentists. Our advice? Let the dentist make the final call and don’t freak out if your child doesn’t qualify for an implant. We normally reserve dental implants for children until the teen years or early adulthood.
Edited by Justin Vorhees
Dental Implants for Qualified Patients
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