Unfortunately, children can lose their permanent teeth after they emerge. Because dental implants are so durable and functional, a parent may want to explore this option when a child loses a permanent tooth. It’s unlikely that the child will be a good candidate for this treatment option, however.
A tooth implant is not appropriate for a child because a child’s jaw is still developing and changing. If an implant is placed in a child’s jaw, there is a significant likelihood that the dental implant will end up in the wrong position as the jaw continues to evolve. This can create complications affecting the other teeth that would likely require further interventions to correct.
In contrast, an adult who receives a tooth implant has a fully developed jaw that will not change further. Its contour is constant. Therefore, the implant will stay in its designated position over time in an adult patient.
Occasionally, an oral surgeon may collaborate with an orthodontist to place dental implants in a child as part of the overarching course of orthodontic treatment. However, this kind of scenario is relatively rare.
Dental implants aren’t necessarily off-limits forever for children who lose their permanent teeth, though. Even if your child may not be immediately eligible for dental implants following the loss of a permanent tooth, he or she may be able to get one of the devices in a few years after the jaw’s growth is complete.
If you think you’d like to keep this option open for your child, you may want to discuss this possibility with an oral surgeon (and perhaps an orthodontist as well) so that you can choose the most appropriate strategy to either replace the tooth or maintain the space (or both) in the interim.
Unfortunately, most children will not be good candidates for dental implants because their jaws are still developing. You may still want to consult with an oral surgeon if your child has lost a tooth, though, to explore possible future treatment options. For more information or to schedule a consultation, contact Texas Oral Surgery Specialists at 817-552-3223.