Are Dental Implants Recommended for Children?

Dental Implants for ChildrenChildhood is the time to scrape your knees and break at least one bone! However, some accidents can also knock out a tooth or two. While losing primary teeth is not a cause for concern, since the permanent teeth with sooner or later fill in the gap, the loss of permanent teeth can impact one’s self-confidence and self-esteem. According to a leading kids’ dentist in Katy, TX, partial or total tooth loss can occur due to trauma, anodontia, decay, or congenital or acquired defects in the jaw, impacting the alveolar processes.

Dentists in Katy, TX, such as those at Darling Dental Family & Cosmetic Dentistry, recommend that if a permanent tooth has been knocked out or avulsed, one should act quickly, in case there is a chance to save the tooth. If not, kids’ dentists in Katy, TX, say that dental implants can be used to fill in the space once the child is about 17 years old.

When Should Dental Implants be Used

Dental implants are not recommended till craniofacial growth is complete. What this essentially means is that implants should only be placed once the jaw has finished growing, otherwise there could be problems with proper jaw growth or the growth of teeth in their natural positions. Therefore, such procedures are advised only after the age of 17 in boys and after the age of 15 in girls.

  • Some of the major indications for which this procedure is recommended include:
  • Children with ectodermal dysplasia
  • Cleft of the alveolus and palate, where implants are often combined with bone grafting
  • Children and adolescents with anodontia, congenitally missing teeth, trauma-based teeth loss
  • Children who find it difficult to use removable devices

Advantages of Implants

With advances in technology, dentistry has also benefited in terms of procedures that can help restore a brilliant smile, without any of the teeth appearing unnatural. This is the largest benefit of dental implants, since they both look and feel like real teeth. In addition, these implants are fixed to the jaw bone, giving the user the confidence that they won’t shift or fall out while talking, playing or eating. Also, the materials used make them durable, which means that you have something that will last a long time without the need for intensive maintenance.

Alternative Procedure till Dental Implants Can Be Used

Neither children not adolescents like to have missing teeth and generally want a solution to the gap as soon as possible. Some of the treatment options that can be considered till the jaw bone completes its growth include:

  • Single tooth dentures – These are exactly as they sound, where only one removal tooth is created and placed. However, one needs to be careful with this.
  • Braces – Some orthodontists might recommend the use of braces to close the gap between two teeth, created by the missing tooth.
  • Flippers – These are also removable artificial teeth that can be placed on the gap in a way that the missing tooth becomes undetectable to others, while giving a natural appearance to the mouth. However, this might affect taste and speech.
  • Dental bonding – In rare cases, kids’ dentists in Katy recommend dental bonding, in which an artificial tooth is bonded to a natural one.

The best course of action is your child’s tooth has been knocked out is to visit your dentist as soon as possible to understand what options are available for your specific situation.