Why Dental Implants Are For Adults Only
- June 10, 2016
Children are literally designed to lose their teeth. Otherwise, your adult, permanent teeth would never come in. That’s why we look at kids losing their teeth as a happy event. They’re growing up! Things are working like they should! Guess it’s time for the Tooth Fairy to pay a visit!
But human bodies are incredibly complex, and that means something small can easily go wrong. It’s common for people to lack one or more permanent teeth through some quirk of genetics. Simply put, an adult tooth just didn’t grow. When the primary tooth fell out, there was nothing behind it to fill the space.
If an adult tooth doesn’t come in, or if you lost a tooth for any reason, what do you do about that empty space?
Why A Missing Tooth Can Be A Problem
There are several options, but of course the worst one is to ignore it. Your mouth is supposed to have a full set of teeth, and they use each other for support. When there’s one missing, the rest of your teeth can slide out of alignment. Food particles can also get stuck along the gumline where the tooth used to be, increasing the odds of tooth decay and even periodontal disease. That’s why so many teens get orthodontics like braces or Invisalign clear plastic aligners. They can move your teeth so the gap is filled.
There’s a more permanent solution. It’s called a dental implant, and it can not only fill the space, but it can also keep your jawbone healthy. And you should never give implant dentistry to a child.
What Are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are artificial teeth implanted in your mouth. They work like this:
- The area where an implant will go is thoroughly cleaned and numbed with local anesthesia.
- Dr. Bistritz surgically implants a titanium root in the jawbone. Similar to a real tooth’s root, this will fuse with the jawbone, making it as strong as any natural tooth.
- You wait 4-6 months for the site to heal and the bone to finish fusing with the titanium root.
- Meanwhile, Dr. Bistritz will craft an artificial tooth made to look, feel, and fit in the space just like your natural teeth.
- Once the site is healed, he will attach the artificial tooth to the root, and you are done!
We offer several options at our Aventura, FL dental office when it comes to dental implants. If you are missing just one tooth, a regular dental implant with a crown is the way to go. But if you are missing several teeth, implants can be used to secure dentures to your gums so they don’t slide or accidentally fall out. Dr. Bistritz also offers All-on-4 implants to replace a full arch of teeth. There are even mini implants, which use a smaller artificial root in case the jawbone directly underneath the gap is too thin or weak. However, the artificial teeth used are always “made to order,” so they will look just like one of your current teeth.
It’s The Bone
Implanting these roots into your jawbone is the key to making dental implants so strong and last so long. But that’s exactly why they can only be used by adults or older teens who have finished growing their permanent teeth.
Teeth are practically living things all on their own. They have blood vessels and nerve endings below the enamel, but more importantly, they are natural. Your body makes them. The way their roots are fused with the jawbone is flexible. That’s why orthodontics like Invisalign can work; living teeth are able to move but stay part of the jaw. That’s actually what happens as your children grow up. As they develop, their jaw slowly but naturally changes. Natural teeth can accommodate this movement and slowly go along for the ride.
But the titanium root used in a dental implant is not alive. It won’t change, and it won’t move around. If a child were to get a dental implant, it will stay in the same place as the rest of the teeth and jaw slowly change. If the upper jaw moves slightly outward and downward, the implant will look like it moved inward and upward. Think of it this way. A post planted deep in the ground can move slightly when the ground changes. Put that same post in cement, and it’s going nowhere.
Adults have grown, so dental implants are a great choice for them. In fact, dental implants can reduce the chance of tooth decay, periodontal disease, and deterioration of the jawbone. Instead, children can receive a dental crown and bridge until they are older.
Dental implants are great, but they cannot be used for children because they are still growing. If you have any questions about how dental implants can replace a missing tooth, call us at 786-681-1127.
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