Missing Teeth In Teens: Are Teeth Implants A Suitable Option?

Posted on: 4 June 2015

One of the most popular and effective methods of replacing a missing tooth permanently is a dental implant. However, there are certain candidacy requirements that must be met in order to undergo the surgery for a tooth implant. Among these requirements includes the age of the individual seeking the implant and whether or not their teeth, jaws, face and mouth have fully developed. So, if your teen has lost a tooth and you're wondering if a dental implant is an option, read on to find out.

Is Your Teen Still Growing?

This is a very important consideration when it comes to dental implants, as a tooth implant that fits now may not fit the same in five or six years. This is because your teen is still growing; his or her bite and jaw are still adjusting. Natural teeth will move with the gums as they develop, but a dental implant will not. This can result in pain and other oral health problems as the teeth and gums around the implant moves. It could result in your teen having more dental issues than before the implant was placed.

How Do You Know If Your Teen Is Still Growing

Teens will grow at different rates, so there is no set answer to this. Your teen's current lifestyle, childhood health and even genetic predispositions will play a role in determining when your teen will reach full development. Usually, girls complete their development before boys, which means gender is also a factor. Without a physical from a doctor or an exam from an oral or maxillofacial expert, you really can't know whether your teen is finished growing.

Possible Alternatives to Teeth Implants

When a dental implant is not the most viable option because your teenager is still growing, it does not mean in any way that the problem should be ignored. A missing tooth can cause lasting damage on your teen's oral health, and there are options that can be used in the meantime. One possible alternative is a false tooth, which is usually bonded to the teeth beside it. The bond will keep the tooth in place until it can be removed and a dental implant can be placed. Another alternative would be a space maintainer or an interim partial, which are good options if it is a molar and the teen is near full growth.

As a parent or guardian, you want what is absolutely best for your teenager. While the best long-term solution is generally a dental implant, it may not be the most appropriate short-term solution. It all depends on the information provided above in this article. If your teenager has lost a tooth, consult with a specialist to find out the current state of growth of your teen and what options are available.