How Young Is Too Young For Dental Implants?

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If your teenager has severely damaged or missing teeth, you are probably concerned about how it will impact their self-esteem and overall dental health. Therefore, it is a good idea to learn about the different types of dental implants and determine if they are eligible for them. 

Are Dental Implants A Good Idea For Teenagers?

Unfortunately, there is no exact age that every young person will be able to benefit from dental implants. That is because it is typically recommended that the child has finished growing, so that the implant does not need quick replacement. Ideally, it would be possible to provide dental implants only when it has been verified that the patient and their jaw has finished growing.

That would be the preferred circumstance because there has been some fear about the presence of one or more implants impacting the normal growth of the jaw. It is possible that receiving dental implants at a young age could stunt the jaw growth of the patient. Conversely, their presence in an immature jaw could also cause the implant to move around or become attached at the wrong point in the jaw.

Therefore, the benefits and risks of dental implants should be considered. For example, when teenagers are missing one or more teeth, they run the same risk of losing jaw strength as an adult would. Because of their age at the initial onset of missing teeth and diminished jaw strength, it could actually be more of a problem than it would be with an adult. The presence of a dental implant can prevent bone loss in the jaw.  

How Will The Dentist Check To See If The Patient Has Quit Growing?

A good rule of thumb is that males are usually done growing by their 21st birthday and women do so by their 18th birthday. It is strongly suggested that no female patient receive a dental implant before they turn 15 and no male patient should get it before they turn 18. Research suggests that at these levels of physical maturity, there are fewer chances of complications, possibly because of the continued small growth that appears.

When evaluating a patient for implant surgery, the dentist will take x-rays to measure the jaw size. It is also common to ask for medical records over the last few years, in order to evaluate a growth pattern. Interviews with the parents are frequently helpful because parents can share their own observations of the patient and helpful information about growth and development of the parents and siblings as teenagers may be available.    

In conclusion, the viability of dental implants in adolescents should be discussed with their dentist or places like Fuller Periodontics & Implant Dentistry. Both the patient and the parent should be aware of possible complications, so that if a problem does occur after surgery, it can be addressed as quickly as possible.