Sometimes there's nothing we can do.
We can take all the precautions, and still, our worse nightmare happens.
You lose a tooth.
Not just any tooth, but one of your two front teeth.
And since you're a grown adult, it's not going to grow back in time for Christmas.
Although losing a tooth is not ideal, there are ways to fix it.
If you're secure with your looks, you can go ahead and rock that missing tooth with confidence.
But, the missing tooth could have a negative impact on your overall oral health, so that's probably not the best idea.
You could get dentures, and we're not talking your grandma's dentures either.
Dentures have come along way since you found your grandmother's dentures on her nightstand years and years ago. You might know someone wearing dentures right now and have no idea they have them.
And one of the most popular options for replacing missing teeth is dental implants.
With a dental implant, you can replace your missing tooth with an artificial tooth, and no one will be the wiser.
You can even get it color matched to your teeth to make it blend in perfectly.
What happens if your kid loses a tooth though?
Can a child get a dental implant?
We explore this question and more.
- What Are Dental Implants?
- Are Dental Implants Safe For Kids?
- Alternatives To Dental Implants
- Dental Implants at Hylan Dental Care
A dental implant is a type of screw that serves as an artificial root for your tooth.
When the implants are placed in your jawbone, they fuse with your natural bone and become a sturdy base for supporting one or more artificial teeth, called crowns.
Then a connector, or abutment, is placed on top of the implant to hold and support your crowns.
The crowns are custom made to match your teeth and fit perfectly in your mouth.
The dental implants being used today have been used successfully for over 30 years now.
They are without a doubt the strongest devices available to support replacement teeth, and they will look, feel, and function naturally.
It's also one of the safest and most predictable procedures in dentistry.
Now let's imagine you are at your son's football game.
He plays wide receiver, and he's having a great game.
Big catch after big catch, and he's scored a couple touchdowns.
And, it looks like he's about to get another one.
But, from out of nowhere, comes a linebacker from the other team, and tackles your son to the ground with force.
As he's falling to the ground, not only does his mouthpiece fly into the air, but so does one of his teeth right behind it.
The first thing you do is hope he's okay.
Once he gets up and gives you a little wave, you breathe a sigh of relief and then starting thinking of how you're going to fix his tooth and how much it's going to cost.
What will be the best way to repair the damage?
Your first thought would likely be an implant.
But is this option safe for your child?
And if it's not, what other options do you have?
While dental implants are a completely safe option for replacing missing teeth in adults, it is not an option for children below a certain age.
If a dental implant is placed in a young patient whose jaw hasn't finished growing, it could impede jaw growth and prevent other teeth from coming in naturally.
Dental implants are placed directly into the bone and lack a functioning periodontal ligament, so they don't move as easily as natural teeth do.
As a general rule of thumb, the minimum ages for dental implants are 15 years old for girls, and 17 years old for boys.
The ages are different for each gender because bone growth in girls is usually complete before bone growth in boys.
By these ages, the jaw has likely finished growing or has at least reached a point where dental implants won't adversely affect future growth.
If a dental implant cannot be the fix for the lost tooth, what other options are there?
Instead of being left with a gap-toothed smile, there are other alternatives that will replace a missing tooth until your child is old enough for an implant.
This removable partial denture has one or more artificial teeth attached to it as needed.
When your child wears the denture, no one will know he has a missing tooth.
Choose from a tooth-supported fixed bridge or a resin-bonded bridge.
A fixed bridge requires the teeth adjacent to the gap to be ground down so a crown can be attached to support the bridge.
A resin-bonded bridge doesn't involve this prep work so healthy, adjacent teeth aren't damaged. A bridge will typically look and function better than a removable denture.
If you were already thinking about getting your child orthodontic treatment before he lost a tooth, there's no reason to cancel those plans now.
An artificial tooth can be attached to an orthodontic wire to fill the gap left by the missing tooth while the braces correct crooked teeth and bite problems.
If your child is younger when he had his accident, there's a chance a baby tooth was knocked out.
A permanent tooth will eventually grow in its place, but to ensure that everything remains where it's supposed to be you can get a space maintainer.
Removable and fixed space maintainers are available, depending on your child's situation and which tooth has been knocked out.
If your child has just lost a tooth, take a deep breath, and know that it can easily be fixed.
Even if a dental implant is not the path of treatment for your child, there is a way to replace their missing tooth.
The best thing to do is get an emergency dental appointment to explore your options, and continue with regular pediatric dentistry appointments to ensure great oral health.
The experts at Hylan Dental Care are the #1 Emergency Dentists serving across Northeast Ohio. Our staff will walk you through the process, and treat your child with Gentle Dentistry Techniques.