Because dental implants have so many benefits and are the only structurally complete tooth replacement option available, some parents may be inclined to explore this treatment option for their child after the loss of that child’s permanent tooth. However, in most cases it’s not appropriate for children to get dental implants.
A dental implant can be problematic in pediatric patients because a child’s jaw is still growing and developing – unlike an adult’s – and that process is not complete until late adolescence. If a child receives an implant, it’s quite likely that the implant would shift out of the desired position as the jaw developed, which in turn could affect the positioning of the other teeth.
In rare instances, a child may be able to receive dental implants as part of an overarching orthodontic treatment plan. For these patients, the implant dentist would collaborate closely with the orthodontist to determine the timing of implant placement and to discuss the desired objectives of treatment.
Even though your child may not be able to get a dental implant right away, you may still want to consult with an implant dentist to see what steps may be necessary to maintain the space in the interim and move forward with dental implants after the jaw’s growth is complete in case you’d like to keep that option open. The dentist may also be able to suggest an appropriate restoration that will maintain the appearance of a complete smile as the child continues to grow.
Orthodontic treatment may be necessary to create the space needed to accommodate the dental implant, so the dentist may refer your child to an orthodontist as well.
If your child loses a tooth, dental implants may not be an immediate treatment option, but you still may be able to take steps that can make dental implants a possibility at a later date. Contact ORA® Oral Surgery & Implant Studio today and schedule a consultation to learn more about all of your child’s options.