The dental implant process allows your dentist to restore a lost tooth or place a restoration where a biological tooth has never erupted properly. While a child may be put into a position where they could benefit from dental implants, there are a couple of reasons this treatment is not recommended for children.
The patient must undergo a very thorough dental exam to qualify for dental implants. This involves x-rays to determine bone strength, a much needed component for a successful procedure. Most children are still growing and lack the sufficient bone strength needed for dental implants.
A dental implant is surgically placed in the gum tissue of a person who has reached bone maturity. In a child, bone and jaw growth continues to develop as the child grows. This means the implant would be subject to moving, leading to improper growth and the likelihood of implant failure.
Bone maturity is a natural part of the growth cycle, and while chronological age should not be the final determination for the dental implant process, age is used as a general guide.
The dental implant itself is a small post embedded in gum tissue where a tooth is missing. It is intended to form a supportive base for the replacement tooth. Once the post is placed, jaw bone will fuse to it allowing it to become a permanent part of the dental anatomy. When fully healed, the implant will provide strength and stability for the restoration it will support, much like the roots do for a biological tooth.
Titanium is the metal most often used for the implant post for its unique ability to merge with bone; also titanium is very unlikely to be rejected by the patient.
From an aesthetic perspective, there are other options for children your dentist can recommend that are more suitable until bone maturity has been reached and they can become a candidate for dental implants.
For more information about dental implants or other tooth replacement solutions, contact our team today.