Losing a permanent tooth is devastating for anyone, no matter their age. However, it can be more difficult for teens to accept an incomplete smile. Although there are many methods to replace their tooth, a dental implant is the only solution to replicate both the root and crown. While most people are candidates for the procedure, can teenagers get dental implants? There are a few things you need to know when choosing a tooth replacement option for your child.
A Dental Implant is Different
Traditional methods of replacing a lost tooth only recreate the portion above the gum line. A dental implant goes a step further because it replaces the root and crown. A titanium post is surgically placed into the jawbone to serve as a root. The bone must fuse to the post through a process called osseointegration. After the bone integrates with the implant, an abutment is placed on the post to connect a custom-made restoration.
Although there isn’t an age limit for getting dental implants, they aren’t recommended for teens because their facial structures are still developing. Not to mention, bone density is important for the long-term success of a dental implant. Since their jawbone is still growing, they may need time to strengthen before getting dental implants. As they reach the final stages of jaw development, the implant won’t move along with their bone, ligaments, or tissues, which can lead to gum recession.
Tooth Replacement Options for Teens
While your teen may have to wait a few years to benefit from a dental implant, they don’t have to live with a gap in their smile. After examining their mouth, their dentist will recommend certain options to restore a complete smile, which may include a partial denture. Their dentist can create a prosthetic tooth to mimic the appearance of the one they have lost. It’s affixed in a gum-colored base that has a metal framework. This allows it to clip or clasp onto their natural teeth to stay in place, making it removable.
If your teen intends to get a dental implant later, a partial is an excellent option because it doesn’t require any teeth to be altered, like when using a bridge. Although a dental bridge is effective, it requires adjacent teeth to be reshaped to allow crowns to fit over them. A partial won’t affect the structure of any other teeth to preserve their natural smile.
Restore a Confident Smile
A missing tooth doesn’t have to affect your teen’s self-esteem. Their dentist will replace their lost tooth using a solution that looks natural, so no one will know it isn’t real. After they’ve finished growing, they can take advantage of a dental implant to replace their missing tooth permanently.
About Dr. Cody Calderwood
Dr. Calderwood earned his dental degree at the University of Maryland and regularly continues his education in advanced services. As a member of the International Congress of Dental Implantologists and many other professional organizations, he has the qualifications you can trust to treat tooth loss. Contact our office today to request a consultation for dental implants.