The use of dental implants is actually usually reserved for adults but there are instances when children can take the opportunity to use them as well. Dentists who can put these in are specialists who focus on reconstructive surgery of the oral cavity. This technique is used to put in a synthetic tooth in lieu of a missing one. Since many adults suffer from gum diseases and other conditions that make them prone to losing a tooth, they are very suitable for this reconstructive technique.
The background on dental implants starts with how they are put on and what good they do for the individual. The concept is to put a metallic rod (usually titanium because it gets along well with bone) and to imbed it unto the jaw of the patient. This rod will serve as the post on which a synthetic tooth will be attached. This is a major form of surgery that requires general anesthesia due to the incision that the dentist needs to make on the gum of the missing tooth. The replacement tooth is usually introduced directly after the rod has been attached or the dentist may opt to wait for several days to see if the rod is doing well. Many dentists opt for putting the rod on during the same time that the rod is placed since this means there is no need for a second operation to reopen the incision and introduce the tooth. For some of the more delicate operations, the dental specialist may wait to check on the status of the rod before completing the dental implants.
The aspect that children present to dental specialists of this nature is the challenge of knowing when to place these. The favorable aspect of adults is that their growth has stopped and there is no danger of the crowding or gaps since there will be little movement from the adults’ oral cavity. On the other hand, children’s jaws and oral cavities will continue to grow until they reach the age of eighteen or thereabouts. It is not usual for children to lose their permanent teeth but accidents do happen and they can lose these while they are still young. The danger of putting dental implants while they are still too young is prominent because of the continuous growth that the oral cavity experiences. Some dentists give the go ahead for the implantation when the child already has a complete set of permanent teeth. This may be around the age of thirteen to fifteen years old. The risk that the implant will not move along with the changes that come naturally with growth is very high if the child is still young. If this happens, it may need another operation to move or change the current one in order to go with the projected growth of the child.
This is just a general overview of the use of dental implants on children. Many dentists believe that it is best to wait for the appropriate time before implanting.