While dental implants have an amazing success rate, they aren't suitable for all age groups. For example, kids whose jaws are still growing shouldn't get the implants. In fact, the recommended minimum age is 15 and 18 for girls and boys, respectively. The discrepancy is due to the early maturity of girls. Here are three main reasons kids younger than those ages shouldn't get implants:
It Can Impede Jaw Growth
As your child's jaw is still growing, they don't need anything foreign in their jaw; a foreign material would interfere with the natural growth of their jawbones. This rules out dental implant treatment, which involves the insertion of a foreign material, usually titanium metal, into the jawbone to act as a tooth root.
It May Affect Adjacent Teeth
It's not just your child's jaw that is still growing; the whole mouth is still developing, and this includes the gums and dental arrangement. Your loved one's mouth needs to be free of any external influence so that the teeth may take up their natural positions. If the child gets an implant, it may affect the growth and shape of adjacent teeth.
Further Growth May Dislodge the Implant
Lastly, even the implant itself may be affected if it's inserted in a jaw that is still growing. For example, changes to the jaw may push out the implant or interfere with its alignment. This may necessitate the removal of the implant, and may affect the jawbone around the implant; it's much better to avoid the implant in the first place.
As you can see, there are good reasons your young one shouldn't get an implant, even though it's one of the best methods for replacing missing teeth. Still, it doesn't mean that your child will have to resign themselves to having gaps in their teeth; here are a few alternatives to they can use until their mouth is ready for implants:
- Dental bonding – This doesn't involve any alteration to the jawbone; a tooth-colored resin is used to fill the gap by bonding it to adjacent natural teeth.
- Flipper dentures – these are removable partial dentures that are used for filling (temporarily) gaps between teeth.
In short, your child may not be a good candidate for dental implants, but your dentist will definitely find a suitable alternative for the young one. Therefore, don't ignore your child's missing teeth; take them for treatment and remember to follow the dentist's recommendations, like those at Woodbine Dental Pa, to the letter for the success of the treatment.