Dental implants are considered the treatment of choice when it comes to replacing missing teeth in adults. But what about children or adolescents who have lost one or more teeth due to traumatic injury or a congenital condition? Are dental implants a viable option for this young age group?
Age is just one of the important criteria reviewed at Innovative Implant and Oral Surgery when screening patients for dental implants. Other factors that can determine the long-term success of permanent tooth implants is the patient’s oral health, the number and location of missing teeth, jawbone integrity, and general wellbeing.
Is there a minimum age for dental implants?
Before a patient can receive dental implants, they should have reached skeletal maturity. In other words, their jawbone is fully developed and will not have any more ‘growth spurts.’ If tooth implants are placed before puberty has finished and the jaw is still maturing, the restorations can interfere with further bone development, compromising their durability and potentially resulting in complications.
These include a greater risk for:
- Bite problems
- Spaces between the teeth
- Bone loss around the prosthetic
- Aesthetic changes of the craniofacial region
While every teen is different, the growth of the jaw typically continues until 18, 19 or 20 years of age. In some cases, patients are in their mid-20’s when skeletal maturity is finally complete. For this reason, adolescents under the age of 18 are often not suitable candidates for dental implant placement unless they have reached skeletal maturity.
With this in mind, Innovative Implant and Oral Surgery performs X-rays and other growth assessments to verify if bone development is 100 percent complete, and the patient is ready for surgery.
Interim solutions for younger patients
Because we recognize the many challenges posed by tooth loss at any age, we do offer alternative solutions for those who are too young to get implants. Our oral surgeons are committed to patient satisfaction and a successful outcome, which may mean waiting a few years to realize the many benefits of implants. This cautious approach is the best way of ensuring the long-term success of your permanent restorations. In the meantime, we can help your general dentist fabricate a dental bridge or a partial removable denture that is custom-made to restore functionality and appearance.
Keep in mind that getting dental implants as a young adult can be a win-win situation. Your risk of developing peri-implantitis, the biggest culprit for dental implant failure, is much lower. You have strong, healthy bones to anchor your implants, and you get to enjoy a beautiful smile for many years to come!
Dental Implants in Bucks County, PA
If you are missing one or more teeth and are interested in a permanent tooth replacement solution, the expert team at Innovative Implant and Oral Surgery can help. Learn more about the advantages of tooth implants and find out if you’re a candidate by scheduling an appointment today. Our patients now have two convenient locations in Newtown and Feasterville for all their dental and oral surgery needs in Bucks County.
- American Academy of Dentistry, Types of Dental Implants & Techniques https://www.aaid-implant.org/dental-implants/types-of-implants-and-techniques/
- Journal of Indian Society of Periodontology, Implants in Adolescents https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3800426/#
- WebMD, Dental Implants https://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/dental-implants#1
Journal of Indian Society of Periodontology, Implants in Adolescents https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3800426/#