When a teen loses an adult tooth, it’s essential to address the concern quickly. However, it’s generally impossible to provide young teens with dental implants. The jawbone is still developing during this stage of their life. Placing an implant can interfere with its natural development. Younger patients may therefore have to wait to get dental implants. However, they can take steps to improve oral health until their bodies are ready. Short-term solutions are available in the form of removable dentures or fixed dental bridges. Once the jaw has finished developing, implants become a possibility.
What To Know About Permanent Tooth Loss In Youth
One of the most prominent concerns of teens that lose their teeth is the social impact. Their altered appearance can be the subject of scorn and ridicule. While this concern is valid and worthy of addressing, the medical concerns are broader. Your muscles, cheeks, tongue, and teeth are all significant players in jawbone development. The loss of even a single tooth means the loss of an essential part of the process. Action is necessary to ensure that development proceeds normally.
In the majority of these cases, orthodontics is the first solution. Another potential solution is myofunctional therapy, a form of treatment that aids development. This therapy is done by providing the patient with exercises that will help strengthen the jaw and drive proper growth. It has the additional benefit of ensuring that the jaw is prepared to receive implants when it has finished growing.
At the point that the jawbone has finished development, implants become a serious consideration. With proper implantation, maintenance, and care, they can last a lifetime. This fact means it’s critical that the patient, and their jaw, are prepared to receive the implant. The placement of the implant is critical to its longevity. With the right start, the implant can last 50 years or more. While the crown will have to be replaced multiple times during this period, the implant will keep going strong. These are important considerations for patients receiving implants in their youth.
The Way That Implants Benefit Young People
Dental implants are a definite benefit to young adults that need them. As a general rule, these patients have superior oral health to those more advanced in years. The occurrence of gum disease is lower and easier to treat in these patients. This fact, in turn, means a lower incidence of peri-implantitis. This infection is the leading cause of implant failure in patients of all ages.
Additional benefits these patients experience come from:
- Jawbones that don’t require bone grafts to accept implants
- Immune systems that are healthier and less prone to infection
- Quicker recovery rates following the surgery
The first step in considering dental implants for young patients is a consultation with their parents. All patients of every age deserve to be able to smile with confidence. Implants make this possible even for those who have lost teeth at a young age. Reach out to your dental provider to start making plans for a perfect smile today!