Posted on 10/10/2013 by Dr. Franco
|Children can certainly suffer from tooth loss, whether it occurs because of decay or injury. If the tooth that is lost is a permanent one, parents often want to get the most durable, attractive replacement possible.
Generally, dental implants offer the best available technology for missing teeth. However, this method may be contraindicated in children and some younger teenagers.
The issue with pediatric patients and dental implants centers on a child’s jaw that is still developing and evolving. If the implant dentist places an implant in a jaw that is still growing, that implant could shift out of the proper position and ultimately fail. Not only might the implant end up in the wrong place, it could also obstruct any remaining unerupted permanent teeth in the area from coming in properly.
Furthermore, the implant dentist may determine that a child’s jaw does not even have adequate bone material to support the dental implant, as the jaw is not yet fully formed. Even in an adult, the implant must have a sufficient amount of bone to support the osseointegration process.
Although most children will not be eligible for dental implants, this treatment can be appropriate in some cases if it is coordinated as a component of an overarching orthodontic treatment plan. In this case, the orthodontist will collaborate with the implant dentist to place the dental implant at the appropriate time during orthodontic treatment.
A child may also receive some other appliance, such as a dental bridge, to serve as placeholder until he or she reaches the age at which an implant can be placed with predictable results.
Even if a child is not immediately a candidate for dental implants, parents still may want to consult with an implant dentist to plan for a future course of dental implants. The implant dentist may be able to make recommendations for later dental implant placement, after the child’s jaw’s development is complete.
For more information and to schedule a dental implant consultation, call our office today.
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PEDRO F. FRANCO, DDS
HOWARD B. PRICE, DDS
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IRVING, TX 75062
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ENNIS, TX 75119