Is Your Child Ready For A Dental Implant? Three Things You Should Know

Although dental implants are a common choice for replacing a missing tooth, that doesn't mean that the option is the best for every patient. In fact, if your teenager has lost a tooth, you might be thinking about a dental implant only to find out that you'll need to wait a little while. Here are a few important things to consider about dental implants for your teenager.

It's About Jaw Bone Development

Your natural teeth grow and shift gradually as your jaw bone develops. After all, they're rooted to the jaw bone, so they respond automatically as the bone grows and your facial structure changes in late childhood. Because of the natural response to jaw bone growth, it's important that your child's current jaw bone development be considered before choosing to have a dental implant.

Dental implants are unable to shift and grow in response to jaw bone growth the way that a natural tooth is, so if your child's jaw bone isn't finished growing, he or she will be left with an implant that's misaligned or has gaps around the neighboring teeth. Waiting until the jaw bone is fully matured and grown is the only way to avoid this.

The Timeline of Jaw Bone Development

For most kids, the jaw bone continues to grow until the wisdom teeth erupt, which is usually in the late teens. Most kids find that their jaw bone is fully developed by around 17 or 18, so if your child is nearing this age, you may be able to consider the implant now. A dentist or prosthodontist can do a thorough exam and help you determine if your child's jaw bone is finished developing, including reviewing a set of x-rays and conducting a careful assessment.

The Importance of Patience

Dental implants are intended to be permanent fixes for missing teeth. In order for your child to get an implant that will be a permanent solution, it needs to be put in place at the right time. Not only can rushing the process lead to gaps around the implant, but the jaw bone may actually grow up around the tooth if it's done too soon.

If you're prepared to make the investment in dental implants for your child, make sure that it's worth the time and financial commitment by ensuring that you do it at the right time. With the tips presented here, you can understand why you should wait until your child's jaw bone is ready before you have the implant put in. Talk with a dentist like Hartman Gary DDS MS Limited for more advice about dental implants for your child.