Are Dental Implants Safe For Children?

Your child, like most children, probably runs around and plays a lot. Sometimes, your child probably plays rough and takes a few tumbles as a result. One day, if his or her play gets too aggressive, the child could potentially break a tooth. If for some reason, your child doesn't break a tooth during play, it could happen later in life if he or she takes up sports. In such a situation, parents may be compelled to ask: are dental implants safe for children? The answer: it depends. Most dentists won't want to do an implant, but in some cases, it may be necessary. Like anything else, dental implants have their pros and cons, including:

They Can Cause Jaw and Teeth Growth Issues

Dental implants may seem like the ideal choice for your child when he or she gets a tooth knocked out, but they may be a bit unsafe before adolescence because they can impede the growth and development of the jaw and the teeth surrounding the area of injury. As a result, your child could end up with crooked teeth, impacted teeth that may require removal later, or other serious jaw problems later on in life. Therefore, the dentist can put a cap on the tooth or a special denture that will fit over the remaining bit of the tooth until the child is old enough to get an implant when he or she reaches adulthood.

They May Require Anesthesia, Which May Be Unsafe For Small Children

When inserting a dental implant, there may be a bit of pain associated with it, and as a result, the dentist may need to put the patient under general anesthesia, which may be unsafe for small children. Therefore, dental implants may not be a wise idea in children less than five years of age, because of the risk of complications caused by the anesthesia.

They Can Be Used In Adolescents

If your child is a teenager, he or she may be a good candidate for dental implants in the event that a tooth is knocked out, because once they reach a certain age, their faces stop growing, and thus the risk of complications is significantly less. The ages to qualify for dental implants vary from person to person, but in general, doctors prefer girls to be 16 and boys to be 18 before they will insert an implant.

In general, dental implants are not recommended for use in children. While it depends greatly on the dentist you use, most good dentists won't even consider putting an implant into a small child's mouth because of the risks that it poses. However, if you have a teenager who has an accident, he or she may qualify for such a procedure. If you have any doubts and have considered getting dental implants, talk to a reputable dentist right away, and he or she can address all of your concerns.