There is one population whose teeth we worry about more than any other. We ask them to brush and floss every night before bed with glittery toothpaste. We sit patiently next to them to help them remember to brush the backs and fronts and sides of each tooth. We help them get water to use for rinsing and place their superhero and princess toothbrushes back in a brightly colored holder. That’s right: the children in our lives. Whether it be your child, your grandchild, your niece or nephew, we want to protect their smiles because we know how very far those teeth have to go. We know children, though. They aren’t exactly the safest age group out there, which puts children at a greater risk for having teeth knocked out accidentally.
Let’s begin by discussing basic first aid. If your child’s permanent tooth is knocked out, collect the tooth and any fragments and go to an emergency room or dental office right away. If the tooth is whole, you can have your child rinse their mouth and then place the tooth back in its socket. Have your child bite down gently on gauze to keep the tooth in place. If you can’t get it back in, place the tooth in milk or between the cheek and gums to keep it moist. The important thing is to get to a dentist or doctor as soon as possible.
Sometimes a tooth can be repaired, but this is not always the case. If a baby tooth has been knocked out, we won’t do much in the ways of a cosmetic repair until we know what the adult tooth will do. However, if your child has lost a permanent tooth, we want to get to work. There are a few factors that we take into consideration when dealing with a child’s lost tooth. First and foremost is the child’s physical maturity.
When a tooth is lost, the best permanent solution is an implant. However, an implant is a permanent piece of dental repair that will fuse into the jaw bone. Therefore, if you child isn’t finished growing, we would hesitate to place an implant because it could impede the rest of your child’s dental growth. Instead, we would opt for a removable, temporary acrylic partial. This will maintain your child’s beautiful smile by filling a gap, but it is just a placeholder until your child matures enough for an implant and will do very little for your child’s chewing needs.
Selecting the right time to place an implant is very important to your child’s overall dental health. We suggest taking care of any orthodontics or cosmetic solutions before placing the implant so that the implant fits beautifully with the rest of your child’s smile. We also recommend having a CT scan done at around 15-16 years of age to check for bone loss. At that point we will see how quickly the bone is shrinking. If the bone still looks great, we prefer to wait until your child is a bit more mature before placing an implant. However, if the bone condition is lessening, we will go ahead and place the implant in order to avoid a much more complicated surgery down the road.
As you can see, there are many factors that go into the decisions about your child’s future smile. Each case requires attention and planning. If your child has lost a tooth or has a permanent tooth that never came in, please give us a call at New Albany Implants! We would love to take a look and give you the best options available for your child.