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Dental Implants and Children

by |January 28, 2016

When it comes to Dental Implants and Children your dentist can help.

Tooth implants are an excellent option for correcting tooth loss. They offer the greatest functionality and appear more like your natural teeth than any other dental prosthetic. However, while they are a perfect tooth replacement for adults, your La Jolla dentist recommends you consider carefully before requesting them for your children.

Childhood Tooth Development

Generally, the first two teeth show through a child’s lower gum around the age of six months. Next, the top front four teeth erupt. Teeth slowly continue to appear in pairs until there are 20 in all – ten on the top, ten on the bottom. The process should be complete by about the age of three.

These 20 primary teeth (often referred to as baby teeth), eventually all fall out in order to make way for the permanent teeth of adulthood. However, in the meantime they are an important part of childhood. They help your children chew and speak. They hold space for the permanent teeth that are forming under the gums. Caring for the primary teeth is essential.

Primary teeth hold space for the permanent adult teeth. If any of these baby teeth should fall out too early, the permanent teeth may “drift” into the empty space. Other adult teeth may have difficulty finding space when they come in. That’s why children may end up with a crooked or crowded smile.

Your San Diego dentist warns about the importance of the good oral care. It helps develop good dental health care habits and strengthens the likelihood that your child’s baby teeth won’t fall out too early.

The Right Age for Dental Implants and Children

Deciding the best time to get dental implants will depend on a number of factors.

  • Age of the patient. Because dental implants are set into the jawbone, they are not a practical option until the jaw has finished growing. Otherwise, it may compromise the jaw growth and hinder proper development. Getting dental implants younger than 18 years of age is rarely a good choice when it comes to Dental Implants and Children.
  • Health of patient. Certain medical issues may have a negative impact on dental implants. Therefore, it’s important that you discuss your or your child’s complete medical history with your La Jolla dentist. If you smoke or have health issues such as diabetes or hypertension, or are taking certain medications, be sure to notify your dentist before considering dental implants.
  • Other options available. Dental implants aren’t the only option available for tooth loss. Especially for children, a removable partial denture (RPD) might be the best option for kids who unexpectedly lose a tooth due to an accident or sports injury. Once the jaw is fully developed, a dental implant may replace the RPD.

If you are considering dental implants, speak candidly with your San Diego dentist. He’ll give you the information you need to make the right decision when it comes to Dental Implants and Children.