My Child Is Missing Teeth – Are Dental Implants A Possibility?
Replacing missing teeth not only improves the appearance of a person’s smile but it also restores oral functionality and prevents further deterioration of the oral health system. When tooth loss is ignored, a patient stands a high risk of losing further teeth and of developing jaw bone atrophy. Dental implants are the most natural looking and long term solution to missing teeth and by replacing both the tooth’s root and crown, an implant provides an effective solution to biting and chewing food as well as filling in missing gaps of a smile. Here at Sheen Dental, we’re a clinic who regularly places dental implants in Richmond adults, but one question which often crops up is why can’t children be fitted with dental implants?
How a dental implant works
In order to answer this question, it makes sense to briefly discuss the components of a dental implant and their function. The implant itself consists of two parts: a titanium post which is surgically inserted into the jawbone and an abutment which is a socket like device which connects the false tooth to the titanium post. In a natural procedure known as osseointegration, the titanium post fuses with the bone in the jaw, acting as a replacement for the tooth root, and even regenerating bone growth which forms solidly around the post to keep it securely in position. A crown, usually made from dental porcelain, is then attached to the abutment and fills the socket left behind by the missing tooth to act as a firm biting surface.
Why children don’t make suitable candidates
This particular type of dental procedure is not suitable for children for several reasons. Children lose their baby teeth as part of a natural process and these are closely followed by permanent adult teeth. While this is happening a child’s jawbone is also growing and developing and most likely children will be undergoing orthodontic treatment to align the teeth into the best possible position, by way of braces. Because the success of a dental implant relies on healthy jawbone, then bone which is still developing and altering the overall shape of the jaw, is not an ideal choice for longevity.
Once a child has reached their high teens, around 16 for a girl and 18 for a boy, then it may be possible for them to receive a dental implant, but naturally each case is carefully reviewed by our experienced dental team.
If you’d like to learn more about who is a suitable candidate for a dental implant in Richmond, then please feel free to visit our website at www.sheendental.co.uk or call us on 020 8876 5277 to book a free no-obligation consultation where you can meet the team and get any questions answered.