Dental implants are a great replacement for missing teeth, but they are in the case of adults. What about children? They have so many accidents during their sport activity, playtime or even at home that they are more likely to lose one of their teeth. Losing a milk tooth is not a tragedy for a little child who does not really worry about his or her look (yet), but what about older children and teenagers?
Losing a tooth can be a disaster for a person in the critical age of natural lower self-esteem and search for the individual’s identity. What is more, going to school full of “judges” ready to have fun of your smallest imperfections does not make it any easier. Baby teeth are going to be replaced naturally by the permanent teeth , but the permanent teeth have no natural replacement. So how can you help your child?
Not for everyone
The general rule says that to receive a dental implant you must be older than 15, because of the jaw bone which is still developing. Boys should be even older than girls – close to 17. It may not be very good news, but we must think prospectively.
If the implant would be placed in the bone too soon, the jaw development could be disturbed and the permanent teeth could grow incorrectly. Dental implants are a great solution, yet if the bone is not ready for this kind of interference, it will not help effectively. It will just not be able to provide the right support for the new tooth.
Contact your dentist who will assess the individual situation and will get to know whether your child can be accepted as a candidate for an implant or you must wait.
What else can be done?
Luckily, although your child cannot receive a dental implant yet, he or she still can have a perfect smile while waiting for it. Partial dentures can become some kind of a filler which will help your child wait for the right time to get the permanent implant. This denture must be worn until the jaw is finally fully developed and ready for the implant. Maybe some teenagers won’t be too enthusiastic about such an option, but it still is better than having a hole in your smile.
Yet another solution is an artificial tooth which is fixed to the braces. If your child needs the orthodontic treatment, you can have two jobs done at the same time. This is a more stable option and lasts as long as it is needed before the dental implant can be inserted.
Remember that the denture is not only a matter of good appearance. A missing tooth can disturb your child’s mouth development and influence negatively his or her relationships with schoolmates. Low self- esteem can cause many different problems from problematic behaviors to truancy and worse school performance. To get more information contact your dentist who will help you find the best solution for your child.