Teenagers and dental implants

The teen years are a difficult time. There’s a lot of pressure to fit in and have the right look. It makes sense that teenagers who suffer from missing teeth are often in a rush to fix the problem.

Installing implants before jaw and facial growth is complete can be a bad idea. Here’s why teenagers are better off waiting for dental implants.

Higher success rate

The density of bone in the lower third of your face dictates how successful an implant will be. A juvenile jaw bone has yet to develop. Most dentists and oral surgeons will advise against an implant at a young age.

As the jaw grows, implants get left behind

When a human face develops changes occur. A child’s entire jaw may curve upwards or downwards. Our teeth are surrounded by ligaments, bone and tissue which all move together as growth happens. The implanted tooth can remain at one angle while the natural teeth change position or the post can recede into the gum as the face develops.

How do you know when jaw growth is complete?

Your dentist or oral surgeon will be able to let you know when your teen’s jaw has finished developing. Keeping an eye on other growth indicators will give you an idea of when your child’s mouth is ready for an implant. Is your child still changing shoe size? Is their height increasing? If you answer yes to either of these questions, it may be best to wait.

Temporary solutions

A partial denture is a removable acrylic support with a prosthetic tooth. It’s colored to appear gum like and can also include metal clasps which lock it securely onto the surrounding teeth.

Wearing a denture may be a tough pill for a teenager to swallow, making the alternative, a bonded bridge, an attractive choice. A bonded bridge is a prosthetic tooth with an extension on either side. The extensions are bonded onto the back of neighboring teeth, fixing the tooth in position. Your teen’s new smile will look completely natural from the front.