Tooth loss isn’t just something that happens to older adults. Even teenagers can end up with gaps in their grins after an accident or while playing a favorite sport. When a dental disaster strikes, you’ll definitely want to get your teen the best tooth replacement option available, which is why you’ll likely end up asking a very simple question: “Can teenagers get dental implants?” The following post explores the answer to this inquiry as well as other treatments that could help your teen smile again.
Can Teenagers Get Implants?
It depends. Oftentimes, teens are not considered good candidates for the treatment. This is because their jaws are not yet fully developed. Even if a dental implant is placed, it might end up falling out or causing various problems after the jawbone has grown some more. Dentists prefer to minimize the number of potentially complicating variables before planning dental implant surgery, so the general recommendation is to wait until the patient’s jawbone has stopped growing and hardened. However, sometimes older teens are at the point where their jaws are ready for implants.
What’s the Right Age for Dental Implants?
Different people grow and develop at different rates. Some people might be viable candidates for dental implants around the age of 17 or 18; others may not be ready until age 21. Generally speaking, your teen should probably wait until age 16 to start seriously considering dental implants. Note that because of different rates of development, some girls may be able to get implants as early as age 14 while boys will usually have to wait longer. Also, the upper jaw typically finishes growing before the lower jaw, so the location of the missing tooth is something that will have to be taken into account as well.
What are Treatment Options for Teenagers Who Cannot Get Implants?
Many teenagers who cannot get dental implants choose to get removable partial dentures instead. A partial denture can be personalized to replace any number of teeth while also blending in with the rest of the smile. Because a partial denture doesn’t require the dentist to make any permanent changes to the remaining teeth, it can be an excellent temporary solution until your teenager is ready for dental implants.
Another possible option is a dental bridge, which is made up of two crowns and at least one artificial tooth that literally “bridges” the gaps between the teeth. However, to place a bridge, the teeth adjacent to the gap have to be altered. As such, getting a bridge is much more permanent treatment than getting a partial denture.
Are you considering dental implants for your teenager? Make an appointment with their dentist as soon as possible. Having a professional assess their case is the best way to narrow down what is truly the best replacement option.
About Bethel Dental Clinic
Here at Bethel Dental Clinic, we’re happy to work with patients of all ages, be they toddlers, teenagers, or adults. Our team members have undergone advanced training in a wide variety of dental specialties, and as a result we’re able to place dental implants in-house. If someone in your family has lost a tooth, you can schedule an implant consultation with us by visiting our website.