Posted on: 4 June 2021
Children and teens are substantially more prone to experiencing serious dental injuries than adults are. Young children especially haven't developed a sufficient level of reflexes and coordination that can prevent teeth from being knocked out. Parents may wonder how old their son or daughter must be to qualify for dental implants.
Examples of Incidents
Since children and teenagers are less proficient at reacting quickly to prevent injury, they are more likely to have one or more teeth knocked out in various circumstances. This could happen during rough play or athletics. Accidents at playgrounds and on bikes are relatively common.
Young kids might simply trip and fall forward without realizing they should protect the face with their hands. Unfortunately, the permanent front teeth may have already grown in. That typically occurs by about age 7.
Dentists prefer to place dental implants only after jawbones are fully formed. Otherwise, the implant rods can disrupt bone growth. If not all the youngster's permanent teeth have grown in, implant rods can have negative effects on that process. The rods are not flexible the way teeth roots are. Teeth roots gradually move a bit to accommodate a new tooth growing in, but rods fused to the bone cannot.
Generally, the minimum age for dental implants is 17 for boys and 14 for girls. Girls almost always qualify for dental implant placement earlier than boys do because their jaw development proceeds more rapidly. Earlier physical maturity for girls is typical with all aspects of development.
Readiness for dental implants varies by the individual patient. Some will qualify earlier while others will be required to wait a year or so beyond the average minimum age. During the annual or twice-yearly checkup, the dentist can reevaluate the bone structure and determine whether placing implants is appropriate now.
In the Meantime
In the meantime, the young patient can be fitted with fixed or removable bridges. This replaces one or more teeth with a natural-looking cosmetic device customized for each individual. Depending on the patient's age, a dental hygienist or assistant at the clinic instructs the patient or the parents about caring for a dental bridge. The importance of keeping the device clean is emphasized.
It's upsetting, of course, when permanent teeth are lost at any age. If the youngster's jaw development has progressed enough, dental implants are an option. Otherwise, the family can plan on having this procedure completed as soon as the dentist approves.
For more information, contact a company like Parkview Dental.Share