Are Dental Implants an Option for Children?
If a child loses a tooth as a result of facial trauma, many parents are caught completely by surprise and aren’t sure what their treatment options are. How are knocked-out teeth treated in children? Are dental implants safe for children? What other options are available? This section will answer these questions and more.
A knocked-out tooth (also known as an avulsed tooth) is best treated by re-implantation. In this process, we preserve the tooth in a saline solution that is compatible with the human body. We recommend keeping a Save-a-Tooth kit with you in case of emergencies, especially if you have a child who plays sports.
Come into our office as soon as possible to increase the chances of re-implanting the tooth successfully. If we aren’t able to re-implant the tooth, we will have to consider other treatment options, including dental implants.
What Kind of Children are Candidates for Dental Implants?
Dental implants are the most commonly used and effective method of replacing lost permanent teeth in adults, but they aren’t the best option for children. A child’s jaw is still growing until they reach their mid to late teens, so
We cannot place dental implants unless a patient’s jaw is finished growing. Since a child’s jaw is still growing until around age 17 (for boys) or 15 (for girls), implants are often not possible for them until they reach their mid or late teens. At this point, the jaw has either finished growing, or it has reached a stage where implants won’t interfere with future development. Because bone growth is usually completed in girls before it is finished in boys, we see this difference in the recommended age for implants between the two genders.
Alternative Treatment Options
If your child has lost a tooth and is too young for an implant, we have a number of other treatment options available. Dr. Jay P. Malmquist will work with you to pick the best one for your child’s specific case.
Removable Partial Dentures
Removable partial dentures contain one or more artificial teeth. This prosthetic device hides any missing teeth your child may have.
We offer both tooth-supported fixed bridges and resin-bonded bridges, which often have a higher level of appearance and function than removable dentures. For a fixed bridge, we’ll need to shave down the teeth on both sides of the gap(s) so we can fit crowns on them to support the bridge. Resin-bonded bridges don’t require this, so we won’t need to damage healthy teeth.
If you were already planning for your child to get braces, you still can even if your child loses a tooth. We can fill the gap made by the avulsed tooth with a prosthetic tooth connected to an orthodontic wire. The braces we install later will still straighten your child’s crooked teeth.
If your child is younger when his tooth gets knocked out, then chances are he lost a baby tooth, which a permanent tooth will soon replace. Nevertheless, we offer space maintainers to keep the other teeth properly aligned until the permanent tooth comes in. Depending on your child’s condition and which tooth he lost, we offer both removable and fixed space maintainers.
Some of these options are meant used as temporary treatments in case you want your child to get a dental implant when they’re older. Schedule a consultation with us, and we’ll help you choose the best option.
For more information or to schedule a consultation, please call (503) 446-6776.
Address:1750 SW Harbor Way, Suite # 100, Portland, OR. 97201