Dr. James S. Kim, DDS. SC

My child is missing a tooth. Can it be replaced with an implant?

Not right away.

Although a missing permanent tooth is a serious situation and needs to be addressed, dental implants cannot be used until a patient’s bone growth has completed, which is usually some time during adolescence. If an implant is placed while the bone is still growing, it may shift out of its place and cause problems in the future.

What you can consider is the use of a device called a “space maintainer.” This device prevents the development of surrounding teeth from being affected by the missing tooth. When your child’s bone growth is complete, the space maintainer can be replaced by a true implant. We will closely monitor your child’s development to most effectively plan treatment.

If your child loses a permanent tooth, this is a dental emergency. Please call our office right away so we get you in, assess, the problem, and plan treatment. Not only can a missing tooth cause social stigma (which can be devastating for a child), the missing tooth can cause other teeth to shift out of place. This can affect your child’s bite and require orthodontic treatment.

Your child’s long-term dental health is valuable, and – just like you – we take it very seriously! 

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Single Missing Tooth (Implant)
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