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Dental Implants And Teens: Knowing Your Treatment Options For Missing Teeth

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Dental implants are generally considered as the best option for filling in the holes of missing teeth. While they do work wonderfully, they do have some restrictions; teenagers fall into that category. If your teen is missing a tooth and you are thinking about having a dental implant inserted, you must first know if your child is done growing. If not, you may have to resort to alternative options—temporarily or permanently.

If you and your teen are thinking about dental implants as a treatment, follow these four tips:

1. Wait

If possible, wait as long as possible to undergo the procedure. If your teen is still growing, their mouth and jaw will shift. This shifting will cause the teeth to move and that can pose serious problems, as dental implants do not move or shift. Once inserted, the implant is fused to the jawbone and it will not move—even if the adjacent teeth do. Because of all the shifting, it is best to wait until your teen is done growing to have implants inserted.

2. Opt for Orthodontic Treatment

Orthodontic treatment is a good option for teens that are only missing a single tooth. It can also help realign teeth, which may close the gap—depending on your teens mouth structure and shape. If your teen doesn't want full-on braces, there are other options such as retainers and invisible braces. The orthodontist may also be able to place a fake tooth, which looks real, in the hole left by the missing tooth.

3. A Bridge

Another option for your teen is a bridge. This temporary dental appliance will help keep the bone structure and space of the missing tooth, while filling it in with a temporary tooth that looks natural. The bridge can be removed for eating, sleeping, and cleaning. It can also be removed when it comes time to insert the implant.

4. Insert the Implant Anyways

If your teen's wisdom teeth have already come in or they will need to be removed, you might opt to have the implant inserted anyways. While there are still some risks, they are usually minimal. Just make sure you get the go-ahead from your dentist before undergoing the procedure.

Dental implants have been placed in teenagers before successfully; however, most dentists recommend waiting or using a temporary, alternative option, until your teen is done growing. If you want to learn more about your options, talk with a dentist like Dr. Andres Maeso.