Like adults, children and teenager can lose their permanent teeth as well, due to various reasons, making it difficult for the dentist to save knocked out teeth by re-implanting them. So to minimize bone loss, dental implant is the best option, but the tooth loss treatment for a pediatric patient may differ from that of an adult.
Our dentists refer to dental implants, as the standard of care when it comes to replacing missing teeth. However the bad news is that dental implants can only be placed once the jaw is fully grown. Our dental surgeons will not place dental implants in a jaw that is still growing, as the bone may still be capable of forming the necessary bond with the implant. This is good you might think, but the dental implant can move or shift out of its proper position as the child’s jaw continues to develop, and the dental implant may end up in a different position and change the shape of the face as well. This is not something a teenager would be very thrilled about!
Apart from teeth moving around the mouth and gum also moves upward and downward, creating longer adult teeth. If the dental implant is small then it will be short and will mismatch with the majority of the teeth. Sometimes there is a possibility that the implant may become exposed as the gum moves and allowing bacteria to penetrate and cause dental havoc! Also, no teenager will step out of the house with an exposed dental implant transforming their Hollywood Smile into something that is too embarrassing .
Most parents who visit us with their children who have lost their teeth are disappointed, that their children cannot have dental implants. The good news is that our young patient who experience tooth loss can have dental implants when they’re older. The waiting period may be tough, but as the saying goes, “Good things come to those who wait for them”. But when your young and restless, this can seem like a lifetime.
So just because your child or teenager cannot have dental implants it does not mean the area where the missing tooth is can be neglected or the child or teenager should feel socially isolated due to this embarrassing abnormality. An orthodontist will make sure to inspect the area at every routine visit and the dental implants can be placed after the jaw has completely grown. There is possibility that the youngster can have a crown to the portion of the tooth so that the smile’s appearance does not suffer. Other good alternatives include using a false tooth which is bonded to the adjacent teeth, an interim partial or a space maintainer or a denture for the missing tooth so it fills in the area where there is a missing tooth.
So then what is the best age to have dental implants? The dental team at our Dental Clinic in Dubai suggests the following ages to have dental implants, for boys at the age of 19 years and for girls at the age of 17 years. At this age the jaw is fully grown and dental implants will not affect any further growth. However, the dental maturity of each patient will vary, so it’s best to wait for the correct time. Sometimes, our dentists will make sure that the young patients wait till their wisdom teeth develop as this is the mouth’s signal that the gums and jaw line are finished growing. Our dentists warn parents to be mindful about Dental Extractions associated with wisdom teeth, if there wisdom teeth are extracted, then it is not a good time to consider dental implants.