Quality dental implants can improve a patient’s quality of life immeasurably for the life of the implant, which with modern implants can be decades. Knowing how important dental implants can be for oral injuries, many parents find themselves wondering if a dental implant might be a viable solution for a child who has suffered permanent damage to one of their teeth. As it turns out, there is almost never a scenario where a child should be given a dental implant.
Dental implants in pediatric patients are rarely a good idea because children still have a lot of growing to do. Their jaws are not yet fully formed and generally have significant growth left. Not only can dental implants impede that growth, which can lead to serious issues down the road, but the implants will quickly become obsolete as the rest of the child’s mouth changes shape.
Occasionally a child will need a dental implant, but that almost always comes as part of a major long-term treatment plan. That implant will have to be adjusted regularly so it can adapt as the child’s mouth and jaw changes over time.
Even though children often are not good candidates for dental implants when they are young, it is wise to begin the conversation with your dentist early. A good dentist will work with their patients to identify the ideal window of time for dental work and can prepare a treatment plan that includes dental implants at the appropriate time.
Many parents feel frustrated when they learn that their child is not a good candidate for a dental implant. However, it is very likely that the child will be eligible for dental implants down the road. This plan usually requires an orthodontist to actively maintain the space where the tooth used to be.
Every person’s oral health and treatment is unique to them, that’s why it’s so important to see a dentist on a regular basis. Work with your dentist to maintain oral health and identify long-term dental goals.
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