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Why can’t children get dental implants?


shrugging-300x200Parents of children who have lost permanent teeth may be interested in exploring dental implants to replace those teeth. However, that course of treatment is generally not advised due both to the nature of the dental implants and the ongoing development of a child’s jaw.

After an oral surgeon inserts a dental implant into a patient’s jaw, the adjacent bone will form a bond with the implant’s surface, which is made of the biocompatible metal titanium. That bond gives the dental implant its permanence, which is a tremendous benefit for adults whose jaws are fully formed.

In children and adolescents, on the other hand, the jaw is still growing and changing. That process can cause a dental implant to shift out of the desired position after osseointegration is complete.

There may be a handful of instances in which an oral surgeon can collaborate with an orthodontist to place a dental implant as part of a comprehensive orthodontic treatment plan, but these cases are extremely rare.

Even though your child may not be able to get a dental implant as a tooth replacement right away, that doesn’t mean that this treatment will never be a possibility. After jaw growth is complete, it may become possible to place a dental implant. In the interim, parents can explore alternatives like dental bridges, which can fill in an empty space in the smile and act as a placeholder until dental implant placement is more feasible and likely to produce better results.

Unfortunately, children sometimes lose their permanent teeth far too prematurely, and parents want to give them the best tooth replacement option possible. In most cases, this will not be a dental implant, at least not immediately. However, there may be interventions that would give a child an opportunity to get a dental implant at a later date. If you want to consider long-term tooth replacement options for a child or teen, call us at Austin Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery to schedule a consultation.