No matter your age, a lost permanent tooth needs to be replaced in order to protect the beauty and health of your smile. The surrounding bone around a missing tooth can begin to atrophy over time. In fact, the bone can diminish by up to 25% in the very first year! Dental implants are the preferred solution for replacing a missing tooth and preventing bone loss. However, if your teen has lost a tooth, you’ll need to wait on a permanent restoration.
Teens are not candidates for dental implants until their jaw has finished developing. If a dental implant is placed prior to full growth, the implant won’t grow and move with the jaw growth like natural teeth would. Therefore, this can cause the implant to disrupt the alignment of your smile and affect your smile appearance. However, this doesn’t mean that you should do nothing about your teen’s lost tooth. There are ways to preserve bone loss so that your teen remains a strong candidate for a dental implant when the time is right.
To protect the surrounding bone and even encourage jaw growth, a bone graft can be placed. Rest assured that bone grafts are a routine oral surgery and they carry highly effective results. The bone graft, typically made of minerals from another donor, will eventually dissolve over time. Not only do bone grafts support long-term jaw bone growth, but they won’t interfere with any necessary orthodontic treatment. A temporary tooth replacement can also be used until qualifications for a dental implant are met. Jaw growth is typically complete by age twenty-one for men, and earlier for women.
If your teenager has recently lost a tooth, either due to injury or disease, it is important to seek treatment from a dental implants expert. Dr. Wayne Suway carries vast experience in both bone grafting and placing dental implants. We can evaluate your child’s jaw and determine the best course of action for their future smile.