Dental implants were first used and developed for older patients with one or more missing teeth. However, their success and broad use in dentistry in recent years, have encouraged dentists to also use them on younger patients in cases of trauma or because of other factors that contribute to tooth loss at a young age.
In order for dental implants not to interfere with jawbone growth, their application should be postponed until after the jaw stops growing at around age 18. Our implant dentists at Ikon Dental Suite will examine your teeth carefully and estimate whether dental implants may interfere with your jawbone growth. Another factor to take into consideration is the position of the dental implant (or implants) in the jawbone. Not all positions are ideal for regular dental implants, since they could jeopardise the neighbouring teeth. For all these reasons, a thorough oral screening for dental implants is really important.
Why are children not good candidates for dental implants?
In general, age is not a restrictive factor when it comes to dental implant placement. However, children are not great candidates for this procedure for a simple reason – their jawbone hasn’t grown to its full potential and this can hinder the process of ‘osseointegration’ (the fusion of the dental implant to the bone tissue). Since changes in the jawbone are really important for the functional and aesthetic outcome of dental implants, children and adolescents are not encouraged to undergo this treatment. Instead, the dentist will recommend an alternative, temporary treatment such as a crown or a bridge.
Choosing the best age for having dental implants
Unfortunately, there’s no such thing as an optimal age for the installation of dental implants. In some places and due to genetic reasons (i.e. some people are born with very few teeth or no teeth at all), the dentist may proceed to implant placement at a younger age by taking into consideration all the limitations. However, these cases are very rare. Ideally, dental implants should be installed into the jawbone once full skeletal growth has been achieved for optimal oral health and function.