Kids are kids. They play a lot, run a lot, hurt themselves a lot.
Sometimes injuries in children result in a tooth loss. There are also cases of children that are missing some teeth congenitally.
Most of these cases are being treated with dental implants nowadays. Teenagers and their parents are often concerned about the time the tooth can be replaced with a new one and keep asking if they can have a dental implant placed as soon as possible.
The truth is that we can not place dental implants in a child. The placement may only take place when the growth has finished.
This usually happens, around the 18th year of life, usually quicker in girls compared to boys. Since people have different growth rythmes it is very important to be certain that the growth has finished.
For that purpose a special hand x-ray can be very helpful. It allows us to see if a certain small bone has been fully formed and decide accordingly.
The reason for not placing implants earlier, is that implants do not moove after their placement. If the child's development is not finished by the time of implant placement, the rest of the jaw bone with the teeth will moove. This will result, in an implant that will not fit to the rest of the mouth.
In the meanwhile the missing tooth can be restored with long lasting temporary solutions. There are excellent temporary solutions and I will explain them at a following post.
Until then,keep smiling,
Domna Evangelidou, DDS, MSc