Can young adults get dental implants?
Whether it be from a sports incident or an extraction, patients of all ages can find themselves missing a tooth. If a young adult in your family is missing a tooth and considering an implant as a tooth replacement solution, you might be asking yourself what the minimum age is for the procedure.
Candidacy isn’t a number
The most important aspect when considering dental implants for a young patient is not their age but their skeletal maturity.
Everyone’s jawbone develops differently, and while one patient may complete bone growth in their late teens, another patient might not reach skeletal maturity until their mid-20s.
Generally speaking, 18 is the youngest age where a patient is usually eligible, but what’s more relevant is how long it has been since completing puberty. To determine skeletal maturity, an oral surgeon will utilize X-rays and other growth assessment techniques to verify bone development.
Patients with <100% skeletal maturity
Young adults who are close to full bone development but not quite finished may still be given the option to move forward with dental implants but an unexpected growth spurt could lead to future issues. In most cases, oral surgeons do not recommend moving forward with dental implants until imaging confirms jawbone growth is complete.
The good news
While young adults can be disappointed when their examination shows they are not yet eligible for dental implants yet, when they do finish growing a younger person’s bone tissue is in the best condition for osseointegration (fusing the dental implant to bone tissue), fast recovery and long-term treatment success.