Can Children Have Dental Implants?
Kids will have accidents as they grow up. It is a given. If your child is involved in sports the type of injury they could suffer may change from a scraped knee to a broken tooth. If your child breaks or loses a tooth, we, as your dentists, have limited options to fix it. After all, you want your child to grow up with a great smile and you want to know what we can do to help. We get asked this question a lot here at Revive Dental and Implant Center. Let’s take a few moments and talk about children and dental implants.
Lost Teeth and Reimplantation for Children
A knocked-out tooth is generally referred to as a tooth that has been avulsed. If a permanent tooth is lost through a source of trauma, it should absolutely be considered a dental emergency. When this happens that space, where the avulsed tooth was, is now left open. If you act quickly there is a chance that the tooth can be saved. Yes, it can be re-implanted and remain a strong, viable tooth, but that is not a guarantee.
The reasoning for this is that the avulsed tooth is generally broken with such a great force
that it breaks the connection to the periodontal ligament. That broken tooth at that point ceases to have any blood flow or oxygen and it will die if not implanted quickly. How well the tooth was kept clean and how it was stored will impact the success of reimplantation.
If you have a knocked-out tooth, clean it only if it is dirty and even then, use only lukewarm water for about 10 seconds. Only handle the crown of the tooth, the part that touches the other teeth, do not touch the root. If you can, put it back into the space and secure it in place by biting down gently. If you can’t fit it back in or it is in pieces, store it either in whole milk or between your teeth and gums. You want to prevent it from drying out. Even if you managed to reinsert it yourself, go straight to our office. You only have about 30 minutes for a successful outcome.
Can an Implant Work Instead?
The answer for children, in this case, is no. Why? As a child grows on the outside, they are also growing on the inside and that includes the jawbones. If implants are placed during that growth period, not only will the implant inhibit that jaw growth process, but it will hamper the appropriate movement of the mouth and how the teeth fit naturally in the mouth.
The recommendations for the earliest ages of dental implants in teen males are age 17 and teen females age 15. Those age factors are determined by growth completion, and it is generally recognized that females complete their growth cycle at a much earlier age than males and so they are able to receive a dental implant earlier.
If your child loses a tooth please do not hesitate to contact us here at Revive Dental and Implant Center. We are happy to discuss the options you and your child have until he or she is old enough for an implant. To make an appointment or for additional information, please call our office at (304) 467-4265. We welcome your call and are more than happy to help in any way that we can.