Most parents are panic-stricken when their child loses a permanent tooth. Unfortunately, it does happen. Whether your child lost a tooth during a fall or sports injury, this is a dental emergency that needs prompt attention. While it is best to try and preserve the lost tooth in cool milk or water and let your dentist reattach it, this is not always possible. In such cases, parents are faced with tooth replacement options – as a full smile is important for eating, speaking and retaining a positive self-esteem.
Dental implants are the superior choice to replace missing teeth. However, they are not recommended for children whose jaws are not fully developed. A child’s jawbone may still be capable of bonding to the implant, but the overall success is jeopardized. If dental implants are placed in a jaw that is still growing, the implant may shift out of its proper location as the child’s jaw develops.
Just because dental implants are not recommended now for your child, does not mean that they can’t be placed later on. Parents should take the necessary steps to preserve the possibility of implant placement after the jaw’s growth is complete. If the original tooth cannot be reattached, dental implants are the only solution to recreate a tooth root. The active stimulation of the jawbone through tooth roots is what keeps the bone from atrophy. It is possible that an orthodontist can maintain the space where the tooth once was until the child is a stronger candidate for a dental implant.
Dr. Wayne Suway carries extensive experience in helping patients of all ages with missing teeth. He consults with parents on the very best solution for their child’s smile, both now and for the future.