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Are Dental Implants Safe For Kids?

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Accidents happen, and moving around with a missing tooth can be challenging when they knock out one. Not only does tooth loss affect appearance, but it also affects self-esteem and leads to further deterioration of oral health.

Fortunately, there are different tooth replacement options but are they suitable for your child? Kindly read further to determine if dental implants are safe for your kids.

What Are Dental Implants?

Dental implants are tiny titanium screws that dentists place in the jawbone. The implants act as an artificial tooth root, fusing with the jawbone. Consequently, they act as a support for artificial teeth like dental crowns. Although dental implants are a safe procedure with a 98% success rate, they are not safe for children.

Why Are Dental Implants Not Safe For Children?

A requirement for dental implant surgery is a fully grown jaw bone. Unfortunately, children are still growing, and their jawbone is not fully mature. If a young patient gets dental implants, the implants impede jaw growth, preventing other teeth from coming out naturally. Therefore children cannot get dental implants.

What Is The Minimum Age to be eligible For Dental Implants?

Girls generally experience full bone growth earlier than boys. Consequently, some dentists recommend that the minimum age for girls to get implants is 16 years, while boys are between 17 and 18 years. Nevertheless, before dental implant surgery, your dentist will check the jawbone to be sure it is mature enough.

What Are The Other Alternatives To Dental Implants For Children?

Dentists at www.Dentakay.com offer other solutions to replace missing teeth for your teens and pre-teens. Some options are ideal until your child is mature enough to get dental implants.

  • Removable partial dentures

A dentist can attach one or two artificial teeth to removable partial dentures depending on the number of teeth your child is missing. 

  • Dental bridge

Your dentist can use either a fixed or resin-bonded bridge to replace missing teeth. The fixed bridge is tooth-supported. During the installation, the dentist will grind down adjacent teeth to attach a crown supporting the bridge. On the other hand, a resin-bonded bridge does not require as much preparation—the dentist bonds the bridge without touching the adjacent, healthy teeth.

  • Braces

A child can still get braces even after getting a knocked-out tooth. The dentist can attach an artificial tooth to the orthodontic wire. This tooth will fill the gap created by the missing teeth, while the braces will correct bite problems and crookedness.

  • Space maintainers

When children lose their milk teeth, a permanent tooth will still grow in its place. But unfortunately, tooth loss can affect the alignment of teeth. So, while waiting for the permanent tooth to grow, a dentist can install a space maintainer to ensure proper teeth alignment.

Causes Of Tooth Loss In Children

Before growing permanent teeth, children have to lose their milk teeth. And this is absolutely normal. However, sometimes children can experience premature loss of milk teeth while teens experience traumatic loss of permanent teeth.

The most common reasons for children’s tooth loss and teenagers’ are cavities and injury.

How To Prevent Tooth Loss In Children?

  • Oral hygiene

You can prevent premature tooth loss in children by maintaining oral hygiene. Children should brush their teeth twice daily. It is best to use fluoride toothpaste to make teeth stronger and prevent decay. Ensure the toothpaste is pea-sized to avoid overdose in children.

You can get practical advice from your dentist and show your child how to brush their teeth properly. Furthermore, older children and teenagers can use dental floss and mouthwash to maintain oral health.

  • Monitor food and drink consumption

In addition to the plaque, too much sugar in a diet can cause tooth decay. It is, therefore, best to ensure minimal consumption of candies, sugary foods and drinks, and other sweets. 

  • Dental sealants

The molars are more prone to tooth decay since bacteria settle in the grooves and pits of the teeth. A dentist can spray sealant over the back tooth to prevent bacteria from growing in them. Fortunately, the procedure doesn’t hurt, and it takes only a few minutes. In addition, sealants can last for years.

  • Dental checkups

A dentist can quickly detect and treat dental problems during routine checkups. Also, your dentist will examine teeth and gum health during a dental checkup. Consequently, your children and teenagers get advice on how to care for their teeth. Therefore, going to the dentist is recommended every six months to maintain overall dental health.

  • Use of mouthguard 

Teenagers and older children can experience traumatic tooth loss during a sports injury. Therefore, using a properly fitted mouth guard during sports is best. 

What To Do If Your Child Loses A Tooth?

Losing milk teeth is normal for children. Children lose their baby teeth between ages 4 and 7, depending on how early they teeth. The earlier your child begins teething, the earlier they lose their baby teeth. 

But, if your older child loses permanent teeth, it is a cause for concern. And your child needs emergency dental care. However, when your child loses a tooth, stay calm and help your child stay calm.

Then retrieve the tooth and hold it by the crown. Gently rinse the tooth with water only. Next, place the tooth in its socket and hold it with a washcloth or gauze if possible. If you can not place the tooth back in its socket, put it in a clean container with milk till you get to the dentist. 

Conclusion

Tooth loss affects self-esteem and even deteriorates oral health. Dental implants are a long-term tooth replacement solution, but they are unsuitable for children. The procedure requires that the jawbone is mature to prevent failure. If your child is missing a tooth or two, kindly visit your dentist for a suitable replacement.

Useful link:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5357921/

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