How Young is Too Young for Dental Implants?

When you think about tooth loss, you often imagine older adults, who now need dentures or dental implants to replace them. However, tooth loss doesn’t care how old you are.

Even children can experience tooth loss. Dental implants are considered to be one of the best options for replacing missing teeth, but can you be too young?


Causes of Tooth Loss in Children and Teens

The loss of adult teeth isn’t reserved for older adults. Children and young teens can experience the loss of a permanent tooth for many reasons:

They fall (down the stairs, on the pavement, off their bike).
They have a sports injury (they were hit during football).
They may have gotten into a fight.

Why Aren’t Children and Teens Good Candidates?

Even though dental implants are considered to be the top choice in tooth replacement technology, they are not a good idea for children and younger teens. This is because children and young teens are still growing. Your jawbone will still continue to grow and change well into the teen years.

A dental implant can become distorted, shifting around from its original position, and lead to several other significant issues. In order to be considered for dental implants, your child must be done growing. Typically, boys stop growing around 17, while girls stop growing a year or two earlier. However, many dentists, to be on the safe side, will wait until the child is at least 18.

What to Do in the Meantime
Your child doesn’t have to suffer with a missing tooth until they are old enough for a dental implant. A bridge is one option, but it requires trimming the adjacent teeth in order to place it. In many instances, your dentist may fashion a denture to fill the space until the jaw stops growing.

If your child or teen has suffered from tooth loss, there is no need to panic. They won’t be stuck with a gap-toothed grin until their jaw stops growing. Contact our office right away to discuss available options.

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