It’s not any surprise that children are prone to accidents. When you combine the energy and exuberance of youth, with the clumsiness that results from ever-changing and rapidly growing bodies, injuries are bound to happen. Sometimes those traumas aren’t limited to a skinned elbow or a bruised shin. If your child’s accidental injury results in a lost tooth, you may be wondering what options are available to restore the look and natural function of your child’s smile.
A Closer Look at Dental Implants
When adults lose a tooth, we often recommend dental implants as a part of their mouth restoration. An implant is an artificial “tooth root”, made of titanium. This metal post is surgically implanted into the jaw bone, where it fuses over time, creating a strong, durable anchor for a prosthetic tooth, dental bridge and even dentures.
When it comes to children whose bodies are in a constant state of change and development, implants are likely not the best option. That’s because implants can only be placed in a jaw that’s no longer growing and is completely developed.
An implant restoration is designed to be permanent and inflexible, to create the strongest anchor possible for a replacement tooth. A child’s are flexible, able to shift and change to accommodate their ever-developing jaw and newly erupting adult teeth. A dental implant could have a very negative effect on that development and the natural tooth positioning of their teeth.
When Are Dental Implants an Option?
If you're considering dental implants for your older child, Dr. Goldston can best advise you. Often times, the earliest ages that dental implants can be used are:
- Girls, at least 15 to 16 years old
- Boys, at least 17 years old
Since a dental implant is permanent and fixed, it can only be recommended once your child’s growth has been completed. Because boys physically mature at a slower rate than girls, dental implants often aren’t an option until they’re a good deal older and their jawbone is completely formed.
Replacing Your Child’s Missing Tooth at Greenville Family Smiles
If your child is missing a tooth, but isn’t old enough to be considered for a dental implant, other options are available. Give our Greenville office a call today, to schedule a consultation to see which restoration is best for your child’s smile. If your child’s lost tooth is a result of injury, we also offer emergency dental care, for prompt treatment and pain relief. Don’t wait - call right away.