06 Mar Why can’t children get dental implants?
You have probably heard quite a bit about dental implants in the news. This is because implants have become the favored method for replacing lost teeth since they offer many oral health benefits and help improve the appearance of an incomplete smile. While implants are a great way to replace missing teeth, they are only suitable for adults. This is because children’s mouths and jaws are still developing. Our team explains.
Childhood Oral Development
Throughout childhood, children’s oral structures develop. Their jawbones are growing, their palates are expanding, and their teeth are developing. In addition to all of these changes, children also undergo tooth transition—a period where permanent teeth replace deciduous (baby) teeth. The process of adult teeth replacing baby teeth is a natural occurrence and takes years to complete. Tooth transition and the continued growth and development of oral structures make receiving dental implants a poor choice.
Why Adults Should Receive Dental Implants
Dental implants are made of two major parts. The first part is a titanium post that resembles a small screw, and the second part is the prosthetic that replaces visible tooth structure. The titanium post is surgically embedded into the jawbone so that it can adequately support prosthetic teeth for many years to come. Since it is placed into the jaw, healthy bone mass that is no longer developing is essential for the implant’s stability and longevity. This is the major reason that implants are not suitable for replacing teeth during childhood.
Hypothetically speaking, if a child were to receive an implant, it could disrupt tooth transition and cause incredible discomfort. Secondly, the implant would likely fail because developing bone mass in the jaw would affect the process of osseointegration (a biological function where bone fuses to titanium).
When it comes to replacing lost teeth in adulthood, implants are usually regarded as the best option. These lifelike, permanent prosthetics replaces all the structures of a lost tooth while completely restoring oral function.
To schedule an appointment with our experienced team of oral surgeons, contact any of our four convenient locations today.