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Can My Teenage Son Get Dental Implants?

My son had an accident last month and lost three teeth. Kids are teasing him, and he is sensitive. I want him to get the implants as soon as possible. How much does it cost for a 14-year-old to get dental implants? Thanks. – Gina from Kalamazoo, MI


Thank you for your question. We understand your concerns.

Can a Teenager Get Dental Implants?

A dental implant with the implant crown, connector, and artificial root, for info on teenagers and dental implants
Dental implants are rigid and, unlike natural teeth, will not adjust to jawbone growth. When growth completes, a teenager can get dental implants.

Teenagers can get dental implants when jawbone growth is complete because as the jawbone grows, teeth move, but dental implants do not. The presence of an implant during development may interfere with jawbone growth or the movement of your son’s teeth.

The National Journal of Maxillofacial Surgery published a 2016 article on dental implants in children. The article cites reasons that completion of jawbone growth promotes healthy dental implants in children:

  • Development of the upper and lower jaws is multidirectional.
  • Growth is not paced but occurs in phases of slowness followed by acceleration.
  • Teeth maintain their position by following the pace of jawbone growth, but dental implants are rigid.
  • Age does not determine when jawbone growth stops.
  • Comparing a series of x-rays helps determine when jawbone growth is complete.
  • A pediatric dentist, orthodontist, and implant dentist must collaborate on the child’s treatment plan.

At age 14, your son is still growing.

What Are the Alternatives to a Dental Implant for a Young Teen?

When a child’s jawbone growth is not complete, alternatives to a dental implant are a partial denture or a dental bridge. But a dental bridge requires grinding down healthy teeth to anchor it, which is not desirable. A skilled cosmetic dentist can provide a replacement tooth that blends with your son’s natural teeth.

Schedule a consultation with an advanced cosmetic dentist to discuss treatment options.

Dr. Heng Lim, an Owasso, Oklahoma, cosmetic dentist, sponsors this post.


A Crown in My Dental Bridge Is Too Long

I’ve had three dentists work on my bridge for a missing canine tooth. It’s a mess. The crown for the canine tooth is too long, and it looks like a fang. When I talk to people, I can tell they notice the tooth, and I am embarrassed.

My general dentist did the bridge in 2019. Although I was never happy with it, I left it alone. When I moved to Texas early last year, I saw a prosthodontist because they are supposed to be the best at tooth replacement. So, I couldn’t understand why the tooth did not look any different after an adjustment.

Now I have braces, and my orthodontist said he could reduce the crown. I don’t know what he was doing. The tooth is still too long, but now it looks badly chiseled. Worse than ever.

So now I’m at my new dentist who recommends a new bridge. A new bridge? I’m not surprised because of the way the tooth looks. I don’t know who to trust, though. Should I just get porcelain veneers now and forget about the bridge? Should I wait until I am finished with braces to get a new bridge anyway?  – Chevonne from TX


Thank you for contacting Life Smiles of Owasso. Dr. Lim would need to examine your dental bridge and the replacement canine tooth before discussing your treatment options. We encourage you to schedule a consultation with an advanced cosmetic dentist.

Can a Dentist Shorten a Crown in Your Bridge?

Dental bridge for four upper front teeth
Get a second opinion on your dental bridge from an advanced cosmetic dentist

Although a dentist can make minor adjustments to shorten a crown in your bridge, you’ve had the crown for three years. Several dental professionals have tried to adjust the crown with no success. Their repeated attempts have likely weakened and damaged the bridge, and you mentioned that the crown looks badly chiseled. You will need a new one.

Your braces will move your teeth to a new position. If your orthodontic treatment affects the teeth that anchor the bridge, you will still need a new bridge after you finish braces. We recommend asking a cosmetic dentist to coordinate your care with your orthodontist to determine the best time for a new dental bridge.

Dr. Heng Lim, an Owasso, Oklahoma, cosmetic dentist, sponsors this post.


What Strength Carbamide Peroxide Works for Tetracycline Stains?

I began using 20% carbamide peroxide for tetracycline stains last November. I am taking a break from whitening sessions to see how my teeth will look. I don’t see any improvement, and in some spots, the stains look more noticeable. What strength gel should I use? Do you recommend a specific brand?  Thank you. Chiharu from CA


We are so happy that you contacted Life Smiles of Owasso! We understand your concerns about how your teeth affect your smile and self-esteem, but bleaching them at home will not work.

What Carbamide Peroxide Strength Will Help Tetracycline Stains?

A patient cannot buy any brand or strength of carbamide peroxide gel to treat tetracycline stains. Tetracycline stains form during childhood while teeth are still developing. The stains come from the prescription medication, tetracycline. The bleaching gel can make stains look worse, and over-bleaching your teeth can ruin tooth enamel.

Will Any Bleaching Gel Work for Tetracycline Stains?

Depending on the extent of tetracycline-stained teeth, a skilled cosmetic dentist may use a professional bleaching gel to improve their appearance. The approach takes time and skill but may only work for some cases. Depending on the severity of the stains, a cosmetic dentist will recommend alternative treatment.

An Alternative to Teeth Whitening tor Tetracycline Stains

Porcelain veneers are a reliable alternative to teeth whitening for tetracycline stains. But concealing the stains is complex. Restoring teeth with porcelain veneers requires the skill of an artist, a trained cosmetic dentist who can accomplish the following:

  • Hide the stains without your teeth looking pasty or opaque
  • Achieve natural-looking tooth shade
  • Conceal the stains while maintaining natural translucence

We recommend scheduling consultations with at least two experienced cosmetic dentists. After examining your teeth, the dentists can explain possible treatment options. An x-ray will help evaluate the insides of your teeth, their condition, and whether you need any supporting treatment before porcelain veneers.

Dr. Heng Lim, an Owasso, Oklahoma, cosmetic dentist, sponsors this post.