Missing teeth can affect more than oral health – they affect self-esteem too. If your teenager has visible gaps in their smile, you might be wondering if they can be corrected with dental implants. While implants are certainly one of the best methods of tooth replacement, teens are usually not good candidates for treatment. Read on as we discuss why teenagers should hold off on dental implants and alternative solutions you should explore instead.
Are Teenagers Good Candidates for Dental Implants?
Short answer: no, they’re often not good candidates for dental implants. A dental implant is a titanium post that’s surgically inserted into the jawbone to provide stable, durable support for an artificial tooth. Since a teenager is still growing and developing, an implant can fall out if it’s placed before the jawbone is fully formed. Bone density is crucial for successful dental implantation – and juvenile jaws still need plenty of time to strengthen. Plus, considering how complex the procedure is, most oral surgeons and dentists would rather wait until the bones are fully developed and grown.
When Can Someone Get Dental Implants?
If a teenager can’t get dental implants, when can someone get them? Well, there actually is no set age at which a person can receive an implant. Although that might seem odd, it’s because every person’s jaw grows and develops at varying rates. Some patients might be ready at around 17 or 18 years old – others might be when they’re 21 or older.
However, age isn’t the only factor dentists consider when determining whether someone is eligible for dental implants. Bone density and placement also help determine if someone is qualified for this solution. Since the lower and upper jaw grow at different speeds, your teenager might be able to get an implant in one before the other.
Alternative Solutions for Teenagers
Are dental implants out of the question for your teenager? Don’t worry – there are alternative solutions that can temporarily correct their issues until they’re eligible for implants. Here are a few:
- Full Dentures – These are replacement teeth that are fit into an acrylic base crafted to look like your gums. They can replace an entire row of teeth and restore a natural-looking, confident smile. Plus, you can care for them the same way you usually would with your original teeth!
- Partial Dentures – These have the exact same benefits as full dentures, except they only replace a couple of teeth. They’re a popular solution among younger patients because they’re comfortable, affordable, and can restore a beautiful smile.
- Bonded Bridges – A bonded bridge is a porcelain or resin tooth that is used to replace a missing one. It’s held in place by small wings or resin that’s attached to surrounding teeth. These are another popular solution among teens because they do not need to be removed.
Just because your teen may not be able to get dental implants doesn’t mean they’re doomed with a gapped smile. Ask your dentist about the alternative solutions outlined above – they can restore your teenager’s smile and confidence!
About the Practice
At Lakeside Daytona Dentist, we strive to provide each patient with world-class, personalized, compassionate dental care. We use the latest techniques, materials, and technology to help you and your family achieve your best smiles. If your teen has missing teeth, we offer various tooth replacement options to restore their grin. Dental implants might not be an option for them, but we have other excellent alternatives to choose from! Visit our website or call (386) 274-2021 to schedule a consultation with one of our dentists.