Are Dental Implants Safe for Teens?

Teenager with book bagFrom the time your child’s first baby tooth emerged from the gum tissue, you’ve made it your mission to protect their smile from any damage. While you’ve taken steps to reduce their risk of cavities and gum disease, you can’t protect their smile from everything, like accidental tooth loss. Decay, disease, or trauma can result in the loss of a tooth. Although it may not be too concerning if it’s a baby tooth, a missing permanent tooth can be devastating. Thankfully, your teen has many options to fill the gap. A dental implant is the most successful method. Most patients with good oral and general health are candidates, but can teenagers get dental implants? While you want your child to have the best, here’s why you may want to wait to invest in dental implants.

Teenagers and Dental Implants

A dental implant is unique because it is the only method to recreate both the root and crown. A titanium post is surgically placed into the jawbone to replicate a root, which will support a custom-made restoration that’s attached using an abutment.

A strong, healthy jawbone is vital to the overall success of the procedure. The bone must fuse to the implant through a process called osseointegration, which will allow it to stay in place forever with the right care.

Unfortunately, teenagers are still growing and developing. A dental implant can interfere with the development of their jaws and faces. It is best to wait until your teen has stopped growing before getting dental implants. Generally, the earliest a patient can undergo the procedure is at age 18, but it’s not uncommon for growing to still occur until the mid-20s. As a result, only a consultation with an implant dentist will determine the ideal age to rebuild their smile. 

Treating Tooth Loss in Teens

Although your teen might have to wait for a dental implant, they don’t have to feel insecure about the space in their smile. Their dentist can create a replacement tooth using a partial denture. A prosthetic tooth is attached to a gum-colored base and metal framework. It clips or clasps in place, so you don’t have to worry about altering healthy teeth. 

As an alternative to a partial denture, your teen may be a candidate for a bonded bridge. It differs from a traditional bridge because it isn’t held in place using dental crowns. Instead, it is bonded to the back side of the teeth, making it a temporary and removable option.

If your child has lost an adult tooth, don’t panic! Their dentist will create the personalized plan they need to enjoy a complete, beautiful smile until getting a dental implant.

About Dr. Lance Timmerman

Dr. Timmerman earned his dental degree from the Oral Health and Sciences University and continued his education at the Las Vegas Institute. He regularly pursues advanced training in many specialties, like dental implants and cosmetic dentistry. If your teenager is missing a tooth, contact our office today to request a consultation.

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