Minimum Age or Age Restriction for Dental Implants
While dental implants provide the strongest, most natural feeling solution for individual’s with a missing tooth or teeth, not all patients are viable candidates for this procedure. There are numerous factors that will need to be considered to determine one’s candidacy for the dental implant procedure, such as whether there are any underlying health issues like heart conditions or diabetes, which may impede the healing process. Additionally, patients who have missing teeth as well as gum disease will need to address their gum disease before the implant is placed. Also, many patients whose tooth has been missing for some time will have lost jawbone density, due to lack of stimulation normally provided by the missing tooth. If enough jawbone has been lost, a dental bone graft may need to be performed before the implant can be placed.
Another factor that may determine ones candidacy for dental implants is their age. Dental implants are not a viable treatment option for children or adolescents whose jawbone has not fully developed. If dental implants were to be placed before a patient reached skeletal maturity, a number of issues may develop, such as malocclusion, spacing between their teeth, and bone loss. All of these issues will also result in the aesthetic appearance of their smile diminishing, which can lead to feelings of self-consciousness and low self-worth. The general rule of thumb is that dental implants should only be performed on patients who are 18 years or older, however some patients may not have reached full skeletal maturity until their mid-20s. Your periodontist will perform a thorough evaluation at your initial appointment to determine whether you or your child are a good candidate for dental implants.
If you would like to learn more about dental implants or other treatment options for younger patients with a missing tooth or teeth, please refer to the following.
Other Treatment Options for Patients Who Are Younger
If you or your child is missing a tooth or multiple teeth but has not yet reached skeletal maturity, there are other treatment options that may be considered until dental implants can be placed. Once your periodontist has thoroughly evaluated you or your child’s oral health, diagnostic tests will be taken to gather more information about the structure of the mouth and whether skeletal maturity has been reached. Your periodontist will then be able to develop a treatment plan that will take place over a period of some years and that is designed to provide you or your child with the best possible outcome. In most cases, individuals who have not reached skeletal maturity will be given a bridge or partial removable denture, both of which are designed to look, work, and feel like your natural teeth.
Contact Your Periodontist for an Evaluation Today
If you or your child has a missing tooth and has not yet been seen by a professional, schedule an appointment with your periodontist as soon as possible. To help ensure your periodontist is able to provide you with the best treatment plan possible, be sure to have a recent list of medications and any changes to you or your child’s oral or physical health history. It is also important to bring along any insurance information, if applicable. In addition to scheduling this initial evaluation, it is important to continue scheduling regular evaluations at least every six months so your periodontist can monitor the status of your denture or bridge and make sure you maintain good oral health.