04 Oct Can Children Get Dental Implants?
Children can lose a tooth or two for many reasons, such as getting hit in the mouth while playing sports or having a bad fall. Losing a baby tooth is not often a cause for concern, but a losing a permanent tooth presents a few problems. When children have missing teeth, this affects their self-esteem and makes them a target for teasing. They might not want to smile or even talk in front of other people, especially if they have a missing tooth in the front of their mouth. Dental implants provide a way to replace missing teeth, but are they right for children? Here’s what you need to know.
How Dental Implants Work
Dental implants are posts, usually made of titanium, inserted into your child’s jawbone and gum. These posts fuse to the jawbone as it heals. Your child’s dentist places a connecting piece on the post and an artificial or replacement tooth on the connector. These replacement teeth look natural, so they blend in with the surrounding teeth. Dental implants serve as fixed, permanent ways to replace missing teeth and provide an alternative option to bridges and dentures.
Benefits of Dental Implants for Children
Dental implants can offer the following benefits for children who have one or more missing teeth:
- They do not require that the removal of the enamel from surrounding teeth. This keeps the protective layer on your child’s teeth intact.
- Dental implants provide your child with natural-looking replacement teeth to improve their smile.
- They help boost your child’s self-esteem and make them feel comfortable smiling and talking in front of others.
- Dental implants help prevent problems chewing or eating due to missing teeth.
- Dental implants keep surrounding teeth from shifting and becoming crooked which can occur when a permanent tooth is missing.
Children as Dental Implant Candidates
One of the main factors that determines if someone is a good candidate for dental implants is whether or not they have enough healthy jawbone for the procedure. For adults, a bone graft procedure creates a healthy jawbone for the procedure. For children, jawbone development needs to be taken into consideration.
Since dental implants are designed to be permanent, they might not work well in children still growing with a developing jawbone and teeth. The surrounding teeth may shift as they grow and develop, which may impact the replacement tooth. The jawbone might also be unsuitable for holding an implant in place if it’s not finished developing. When a dental implant is done too early, the replacement tooth can become misaligned over time. Implants might also interfere with your child’s jawbone and tooth development as they grow.
Risks of Dental Implants in Children
In addition to potentially affecting your child’s tooth and jawbone development, there are certain risks you should be aware of. Traditional dental implant procedures involve surgery, which carries the risk of infections, bleeding, and other complications. While these risks are low, it’s still important to consider them before deciding if dental implants are best for your child. Your dentist will discuss the risks and take your child’s health factors into consideration during the evaluation process. For example, children with certain underlying health problems that affect the healing process may not be good candidates for this procedure.
A dental consultation helps you know for sure if dental implants are right for your child. During this visit, your child’s dentist considers their age, teeth and jaw development, and other factors. This helps determine if dental implants are a suitable option for replacing your child’s missing tooth or teeth. If not, they will discuss other options available to replace the missing teeth. In general, older children who have a fully developed jawbone and teeth are normally considered good candidates for dental implants compared to younger children.
If you need more information on dental implants in Phoenix for children, please contact Dental Brothers. We can help you determine if dental implants are suitable for your child after a thorough evaluation.