February 4, 2019
Dental implants for children in Phillipsburg are a great way to restore missing teeth in younger people. However, implant therapy should usually wait until the child’s facial characteristics have fully matured. Attempting the procedure earlier in life can subject the patient to needless risks. Fortunately, there are other options that are worth considering, at least over the short term.
Why Dental Implants May Not Be the Best Solution for Your Teen
Tooth loss is no fun at any age. When it strikes younger people, the results can include lifestyle restrictions, isolation from peers, and loss of self-esteem. Nonetheless, a treatment which works great for adults, such as implants, may not be the best option for kids or teens. Here’s why:
- Insufficient bone density. An implant’s strength depends on the density of the underlying jawbone. This part of the body is still in development during the teenage years, meaning that the implant will not have the full strength it needs.
- Risk of a “buried implant.” Unlike natural teeth, an implant cannot grow; it remains the same size for as long as it exists. This presents a particular problem for kids and teens, since their bodies are in a continuous state of growth. The restoration itself may end up buried beneath the surrounding teeth, ligaments, and muscles, causing serious aesthetic and functional problems.
For these reasons, most dentists recommend putting off implant surgery until the patient’s body has reached a sufficient level of maturity. This generally occurs around age 18 for boys and age 16 for girls.
This does not mean that your child has to live with the practical and aesthetic consequences of missing teeth, however. Here are four implant alternatives to consider:
- A bonded bridge. This is an artificial tooth supported by a small metal framework bonded to the reverse side of healthy natural teeth.
- A partial denture. This is an oral appliance used to fill the gaps in the patient’s smile. The patient can remove the restoration at will for cleaning or for other purposes.
- Crowns. These are a viable restoration option when the root of the distressed tooth is still healthy. The implant dentist in Phillipsburg removes the natural crown and replaces it with an artfully designed restoration. A crown can remain in place for 10 years or more yet be removed by the dentist as needed.
- A full denture plate. This is a great way to restore an entire row, or arch, of teeth that have been lost due to accidents or illness. A denture plate can last for many years with only minimal care.
Don’t get us wrong; dental implants in Phillipsburg are still the best option for restoring missing teeth. In the case of children or teenagers, however, it may be best to consider the other restoration approaches mentioned in this post.
Discuss this topic with your dentist during your upcoming appointment. Whatever choice you and your family make, we wish you lots of happy smiles in the years to come.
About the Author
Jeffrey R. DeMartino has been practicing dentistry for more than 30 years. He earned his DMD degree from Fairleigh S. Dickinson School of Dental Medicine and is a proud member of the American Academy of Implantology. You can reach his office online or by calling (908) 859-5260.
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