Dental implants are an excellent choice for tooth replacement for adults who have lost one or more teeth. However, they are not appropriate for tooth replacement in children because children’s mouths have not yet finished growing.
Do Children Require Tooth Replacement?
Young children most often lose teeth as a natural process when they fall out to make room for permanent teeth. If teeth are lost prematurely, you might think that since these teeth will soon be replaced with permanent teeth, it’s safe to leave the missing spaces alone. However, premature loss of a baby tooth can have an adverse effect on the permanent teeth. Without the baby tooth there to maintain appropriate spacing, the new tooth might not have enough room and could emerge in the wrong place, or come in crooked. The lack of baby teeth can also affect your child’s ability to learn to speak properly, and could also make it difficult for him to eat. If your child loses a baby tooth ahead of schedule, you should consult with your dentist to see if replacement is recommended.
If a child loses a permanent tooth, it is also important to have it replaced. A replacement tooth will help maintain the proper spacing as the other permanent teeth arrive, preventing future misalignment and malocclusion.
Types of Tooth Replacement for Children
Although dental implants work extremely well for tooth replacement for adults, they are not the best choice for children. As children grow, their jawbones get larger and existing teeth take advantage of the growing jaw and move in the mouth to make room for permanent teeth. Once placed, an implant will not move, and would thus interfere with the arrival of the permanent teeth.
When children lose teeth, they are most often replaced with partial dentures specially designed for children, also known as pedi-partials. These partial dentures will help preserve the spaces between your child’s teeth so the permanent teeth will emerge properly. Replacing your child’s lost teeth could even reduce or eliminate the need for orthodontic treatment as he gets older.
Contact our office at 514 631 1457 to receive more information about how to treat your child’s needs.