Why can’t children get dental implants to replace missing teeth?
Children may lose their permanent teeth, just as their parents can, but the tooth loss treatment for a pediatric patient may differ from that of an adult. For example, most children are not candidates for dental implants because their jaws are still developing.
If an oral surgeon places dental implants in a jaw that is still growing, the bone may still be capable of forming the necessary bond with the implant. However, the implant may shift out of its proper location as the child’s jaw continues to develop. Ultimately, the dental implant could end up in the incorrect position.
In some cases, dental implants can be inserted to replace missing teeth in children as part of a broader orthodontic treatment plan, but this is relatively uncommon. When implants are a component of an orthodontic treatment plan, the orthodontist and oral surgeon will collaborate closely on the interventions.
Some parents may be disappointed that their children cannot get dental implants, as these devices are the most structurally complete treatment option. However, pediatric patients who suffer tooth loss may still be eligible for dental implants when they’re older.
Just because your child cannot get dental implants immediately following tooth loss, it doesn’t mean that he or she will never be able to receive this treatment for missing teeth. An orthodontist may be able to maintain the space where the tooth had been throughout treatment, and the oral surgeon can place the implants after the jaw is fully formed.
In such cases, the child may be eligible for some type of appliance to replace the crown portion of the tooth so that the smile’s appearance does not suffer until the child is old enough for dental implant placement.
Dental implants may be the top choice for main patients in need of a tooth replacement, but this intervention is often inappropriate for children and teens with developing jaws. If your child has missing teeth, talk to our oral surgeon about what can be done to preserve the possibility of implant placement after the jaw’s growth is complete.
To reserve an appointment, call 434-295-0911 to discuss your child’s teeth replacement options.