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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.


Two of My Five Dental Implants Failed

After five months of struggling, two of my five dental implants failed. After my three-month checkup, my dentist said that two implants did not have enough bone to survive. He recommended removing the implants and waiting a few months before a bone graft procedure. I let my dentist remove the implants, but I have not returned to the office because I need time to think. I know I cannot leave spaces between my teeth too long, but who can I trust? I had no problem seeing a dentist before this episode, but now I am anxious. How do I know whether the implants failed because I didn’t have enough bone volume or if there was another problem? Thank you. Keith from Thousand Oaks, CA


Thank your question. We are sorry about your frustrating experience. Skilled implant dentists take a 3-D CT scan before developing a dental implant treatment plan. The 3-D CT scan shows whether you have enough bone volume for implants and require removal.

Did Your Dental Implants Fail Due to Low Bone Volume?

The only way to identify the cause of your dental implant failure is to get a second opinion and a 3-D CT scan. An implant dentist or oral surgeon must complete these steps:

  • Scan your mouth using 3-D cone beam imaging
  • Determine whether your dentist placed implants in areas of low bone volume
  • Explain whether you need bone grafting for new dental implants

Who Can You Trust to Resolve Failed Dental Implants?

Dental implant crown, abutment, and root form
Healthy dental implants integrate with the jawbone

You can trust a dentist with post-graduate training and experience in dental implants. You can also trust a board-certified oral surgeon or periodontist. All the dental professionals we mentioned are trained to successfully plan for and place dental implants.

According to an article in the Journal of Applied Oral Science, a dentist should tailor a treatment plan according to all relevant variables when a dental implant fails.

Your anxiety is understandable. Although you may not have required sedation during past appointments, it can help you relax during treatment. Without treatment, your oral health will decline as missing teeth cause jawbone shrinkage and misalignment.

How to Find a New Implant Dentist

Before selecting a dentist to resolve the failure of your two dental implants, we encourage you to consider the following suggestions:

  • Look for two or three providers with advanced training.
  • Schedule consultations.
  • Take notes and compare their credentials and how they will tailor your treatment plan.

Best wishes for a smooth resolution and recovery.

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




Is It Best to Get Tooth Extractions and Dentures?

If I lost most of my upper teeth, is it best to keep them or get them extracted for dentures? I’m currently wearing a cheap partial denture for my top teeth, and I’ve worn partial dentures since 2001. I’ve always hated the feel of my partial denture. Will a complete upper denture be more comfortable than my partial denture, even if I keep the two teeth? I don’t want to spend more than $5000 or $6000, but I think it’s worth it because I am only 58 years old and am socially active with sports and non-profit organizations. Thank you. Winston from Hoboken, NJ


Dr. Lim would need to examine your mouth, teeth, x-rays, and other diagnostics to give you an accurate and comprehensive diagnosis. But we will provide you with some principles to consider.

Should You Get Tooth Extractions and Dentures?

Whether you should get tooth extractions and dentures depends on how many teeth remain, their condition, and how keeping them would affect your oral health.

It’s better to save natural teeth

  • It is usually best to save natural teeth that will not harm oral or overall health.
  • When most of your upper or lower teeth are missing, eating stresses them.

A complete upper denture is more comfortable than a lower one

  • Suction keeps a complete upper denture in place, so it does not move around as much as a lower denture.
  • A well-made upper complete removable denture is gentler on your teeth than a partial denture and a few remaining natural teeth.
  • Severe underbite puts more stress on lower teeth.

Your jawbone resorbs when all your teeth are missing

  • Teeth stimulate and preserve the jawbone. When all your teeth are missing, the jawbone shrinks.
  • When your lower jawbone shrinks, sharp ridges form that make wearing a denture uncomfortable. You will still have the suction to keep the denture in place. An upper denture—even with severe bone loss—is more comfortable.
  • Within 10 to 20 years, you will lack enough jawbone to support your facial muscles, and your face will sag.

What Can You Expect from Treatment Options?

Diagram of implant denture - All on 4
Implant denture

Remember, Dr. Burba is basing his explanation on the information you provided. You will need to schedule an appointment with an implant dentist for an examination and 3-D x-rays to determine your treatment options.

  • Best clinical treatment – A dentist can replace your missing upper teeth with an implant-supported denture, such as All-on-4 dental implants. Although the cost will exceed your budget, a snap-on denture is the most affordable implant denture. Dental implants anchor your denture and stimulate your jawbone to prevent further shrinkage. Your denture will feel stable and comfortable.
  • Alternative treatment – Your dentist can extract your remaining upper teeth and replace them with a complete removable denture. It will look and feel better than your partial denture. It will be easier to speak and eat with a complete denture. If your budget allows it, a dentist can place two or more dental implants to secure your denture in the future.

Schedule a consultation with a dentist with advanced implant and cosmetic dentistry training. Your denture will look natural, and you will get quality results if you decide to get implants.

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




I’m Tired of a Hard Denture in the Roof of My Mouth

I have worn dentures for seven years, and I am ready to remove the palate from my denture. I hate the hard palate of the denture against the roof of my mouth. It feels like a mouth full of plastic. My dentist reminds me that it is better to have dentures than no teeth at all. I just feel that if I must wear dentures, maybe there is a way to make them more comfortable. My dentist is not helpful, which leads to the question, why is he still my dentist? Long story. But I would like to know if dentures exist with a soft palate. Thank you. Paul M. from Chicago


The palate of a complete denture is firm to ensure it fits well and remains stable when you chew. When “soft” refers to a denture, it means relining (reshaping) the denture with soft materials.

Facts about a soft denture reline:

  • As the shape of your ridge shrinks or changes shape due to missing teeth, a reline helps your denture fit more snugly
  • It resurfaces the upper portion of the denture that touches the root of your mouth and gums
  • It prevents the denture from rubbing on your gums and making them sore

A palateless denture

Diagram of implant denture - All on 4
Implant denture

Dental implants support a palateless denture. Implant dentures can relieve the discomfort of a hard denture palate. A hybrid denture does not have a palate that covers the roof of your mouth. Instead, dental implants support the arch of denture teeth.

  • Placing dental implants for a denture – An implant dentist or oral surgeon can place two to six implants in your jawbone to support your denture, but more implants will increase stability.
  • Improving denture comfort – Although implant dentures cost more than complete removable dentures, they restore your chewing efficiency and feel more like your own teeth.
  • Preserving jawbone – Also, dental implants stimulate your jawbone and help prevent facial collapse.

You can schedule an appointment with an implant dentist to discuss your options.

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


Does Teeth Whitening Gel Corrode Dental Implants?

I have 4 dental implants that I got in 2017. At the time, my main concern was to replace my missing teeth because 3 of the 4 could be seen when I smiled. Now my implant crowns are discolored, and I want them whitened. I stopped smoking to get dental implants, paid thousands of dollars for them, and now they are darkening. Why would this happen? I know bleaching gel is safe for my natural teeth, but will it corrode my dental implants? Is there some way to protect the crowns when I whiten my teeth? Thank you. Nathan from Atlantic City, NJ


Thank you for contacting us. Dr. Lim would need to examine your crowns to determine why they are darkening, but we will answer your question about teeth bleaching gel and dental crowns.

Does Teeth Whitening Gel Corrode Dental Implants?

Dental implant crown, abutment, and root form
Teeth bleaching gel will not whiten dental implant crowns

Teeth whitening gel does not corrode dental implants. The bleaching gel will not affect the implants, nor will it whiten your implant crowns. The main ingredient in the bleaching gel is carbamide peroxide, which is safe for your teeth and dental implants. But there are a few things to keep in mind.

  • Your dental implant crowns are ceramic. Ceramic is colorfast, and not even professional bleaching from a dentist can lighten the crowns.
  • If your dental implant crowns are visible when you smile, they will look even darker after you whiten your teeth.
  • If you want your implant crowns to match the color of your natural teeth, after you bleach your teeth, you will need new crowns.
  • The implant root forms, or screws, do not require replacement—just the crowns on them.

Consult with a Skilled Cosmetic Dentist

Dental crowns should not darken within a few years if you take care of them. Perhaps the crowns’ surfaces are faulty or damaged. We recommend scheduling an appointment with a skilled cosmetic dentist to examine your crowns. Also, a cosmetic dentist will discuss your goals for whitening your teeth and getting implant crowns to match.

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



Why Are My New Dental Crowns Changing Color?

I asked my dentist for six BL1 shade crowns to replace the old ones on my upper front teeth, but she decided to ignore my request. My dentist thinks the shade is too bright. When she put the temporary crowns on in February, I was shocked. Thinking back, I should have asked her to return the crowns for the requested shade. I could have switched dentists if she were not willing to do that. Unfortunately, I accepted the crowns, and now they are yellowing.

Additionally, my dentist recommended a new implant crown to match the BL1 shade, and I agreed because I got it in 2015, but it is not BL1 shade, nor does it match the other new crowns. I don’t know how this happened. I’ve talked to my dentist twice about the yellowing, and she talks so fast that I cannot repeat her explanation, which doesn’t make sense anyway. Should I start with another dentist or try to reason with my current dentist? – Thank you. Zaniyah from IL



Thank you for contacting our office. Dr. Lim would need to examine your crowns to determine why they are yellowing, but we can offer some insight.

A single dental crown, for information on new crowns changing color
Dental ceramic is colorfast and should not yellow

Cosmetic dentists help their patients understand tooth shade and how brightness will affect your smile and blend or clash with your skin tone, but your preference comes first. The shade BL1 is extraordinarily white, and a caring dentist would ensure you understand that before crafting your crowns. Unless you bleached your natural teeth to that shade, placing BL1 crowns would make them look fake. Still, no dentist should switch crown color after agreeing to have a lab make crowns using your color choice.

Why Would Porcelain Crowns Turn Yellow?

Factors that can cause porcelain crowns to turn yellow include:

  • The crowns are made of another material – You may have received crowns that are not porcelain because porcelain does not stain or turn yellow.
  • The glaze on your crowns is damaged – Glaze on a crown is a low-fusing glass liquid/paste that makes the crown smooth and shiny. Damaged glaze can cause discoloration in your resorations. If someone on a dental team lacks training in handling porcelain restorations, they can mistakenly use acidulated fluoride or power polishing equipment on your crowns. The chemical and polishing equipment can damage the glaze and attract stains to your crowns.

We recommend scheduling an appointment for a second opinion from an expert cosmetic dentist. The dentist will examine your crowns to determine why they are yellowing. Also, an experienced cosmetic dentist can achieve a BL1 shade with your natural teeth, crowns, and implant crown for the brightness you want to see in your smile.


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


What Brands of Dental Implants Should I Request?

I’ve done a lot of research on dental implants. I’ve decided to explore this option and see if I qualify for them. If I do qualify, how do I know which brands of implants to ask for? I know implant mistakes can happen, and I don’t want it to be because of cheap implants that might rust in my mouth or fall out. Thanks. Troy from Milwaukee


Thank you for your question.

If you receive dental implants in the U.S., a reputable implant dentist will use quality implant fixtures. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates implant fixtures in the United States. Those fixtures are of the highest quality. If you take the risk of going out of the country for cheaper dental implants, the risks are higher because the regulations differ in other countries.

The FDA works with the American Dental Association to ensure dentists observe implant standards and follow regulations closely. The implant screw, the surgical procedure, and the dental crowns attached to the fixture must meet safety regulations.

What Factors Affect Dental Implant Success?

Dental implant crown, abutment, and root form
Look for a dentist with advanced implant training

Dental implant success largely depends on the implant dentist’s skill. A highly trained and skilled dentist will ensure proper planning with three-dimensional diagnostic studies. These CT scans help determine whether you are a candidate for dental implants and where to place the implants.

If a dentist skips proper planning or uses improper surgical techniques, even fixtures of the highest quality can loosen and fail.

An experienced implant dentist will select the correct implant size and brand for your case. It is not to your benefit to request a specific brand of dental implants if the dentist can’t match the fixtures with your particular needs.

Choose an implant dentist carefully. Below are a few things to look for:

  • Training, experience, and credentials
  • The number of implant cases the dentist has completed from start to finish
  • Before-and-after pictures of the dentist’s dental implant patients

You can schedule two or three consultations with implant dentists. Compare the dentists’ experience, treatment options, and fees.

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



My Dental Implants and Crowns are Falling Apart

My full-mouth reconstruction is falling apart. The implants and crowns are no good. Within three years, I lost two veneers and three crowns. Both implant crowns are loose, and my gums bleed when I floss. I switched back to the soft food diet I had when I first got the implants because it hurts to chew. I spent almost $50,000 on a botched makeover. The dentist who did the work filed for bankruptcy and moved to another state. Where do I begin to undo the damage? – Thank you. Alec


We are sorry to hear about your terrible experience that seems to have left your mouth in worse condition than before the dental work. We can advise you regarding selecting a provider and what to watch for with treatment.

Selecting a Full-Mouth Reconstruction Dentist

Before selecting a dentist for full-mouth reconstruction, look for at least two dentists with advanced implant placement and restoration training from a reputable organization. Do not settle for cheap implants. Lower costs may mean that the provider takes shortcuts or uses inferior materials to save money. Although you do not need to find the most expensive dentist, avoid choosing the cheapest. Advanced training in implant dentistry is essential for a dentist to give you reliable results.

Ask About Diagnostic Planning

Dental implant crown, abutment, and root form
Look for a dentist with advanced implant training

A dentist who places implants with precision takes a 3-D CT scan to reveal your oral anatomy and bone structure. Without proper planning, you may lack enough bone volume to anchor implants, or a dentist may place your implant incorrectly.

Check Online Reviews

Check Google, Yelp, and Facebook reviews for patients’ comments about dental implants, crowns, and veneers. You can also ask friends, family members, and acquaintances for references. It may help to check the website of your State Board of Dental Examiners and look for recent disciplinary actions to ensure the dentists you are considering are not on the list.

Schedule Consultations

After identifying two dentists with advanced implant training, schedule consultations, bring a list of questions, take notes, and compare treatment options. Avoid rushing the decision, and do not hesitate to switch dentists.

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


Can a Dentist Save My Loose Implant?

I had dental implant surgery in January. A periodontist placed the implant, and I went back to my regular dentist for a temporary crown. The dentist had difficulty getting the temporary crown on and forced it down. The crown hurt the entire time I had it.

My dentist kept saying everything was okay. He could not see anything wrong. Every time he touched the temporary crown, I felt even more pain, and I think he was afraid to try to remove it. I switched to a new dentist to get the permanent crown because I lacked confidence in my prior dentist. My new dentist says that the implant is loose. I know it is loose due to the trouble with the temporary crown. Are you willing to give me an outside opinion on whether this can be fixed without taking the implant out and doing it all over again? Thank you. Demetrius from Ohio


Thank you for your question.

Can a Dentist Save Your Loose Implant?

Dental implant crown, abutment, and root formA skilled implant dentist must take digital x-rays and examine your implant before determining whether they can save it or if they must remove it. Sometimes, removing infection around an implant or adding bone graft material can save it. If a dentist must remove it, you may require bone grafting and healing time before replacing the implant.

Why Do Dental Implants Loosen?

Reasons that a dental implant may loosen include:

  • The crown – The dental crown—not the implant itself—might be loose. If a dentist does not correctly place the crown, pressure can cause it to loosen.
  • Poor placement – If a dentist or surgeon places an implant in the wrong location, it can loosen.
  • Premature loading – Sometimes, pressure from attaching replacement teeth too soon can loosen implants.
  • Smoking – Blood vessels will constrict if you smoke during the healing period, and your jawbone and implant may not fuse.
  • Patient risks or habits during healing – If you grind your teeth, bite your nails, or deviate from a soft-food diet during the healing process, implants can loosen.
  • Gum disease – Infected tissue around implants can prevent your jawbone from integrating with them.
  • Lack of bone density – Jawbone supports implants. The implant fixtures won’t fuse to the jawbone if you lack bone density. They can easily loosen.

Select a dentist with advanced training and years of experience with dental implants or who works with a skilled oral surgeon for implant placement. Schedule at least two second-opinion appointments to compare your options.

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


Will a Mini-Implant Work for a Missing Lateral Incisor?

I was born without my upper right lateral incisor. I wore braces as a teen, and our family dentist had a dental flipper made to replace the incisor. Now I want something more permanent. I have seen the cost of dental implants and am wondering if a mini-implant will work since incisors are smaller than other teeth. If not, what other options might I have? – Thanks. Sydnee from Portland



Thank you for your inquiry.

Dental implants are ideal for replacing missing teeth. After orthodontic treatment and creating space for tooth replacement, an implant is the only way to prevent bone shrinkage in the area. Also, an implant will last longer than other types of tooth replacement.

Will a Mini-Implant Work for a Lateral Incisor?

A mini-implant can work for a lateral incisor. Mini-implants are one-third the diameter of standard implants. But they are not as strong as standard implants.

Mini-implants have these uses:

  • Replace small teeth
  • Fit spaces too small for a standard implant
  • Stabilize dentures

Mini-implant for an incisor

Standard dental implant and mini implant
Standard (left) and mini-implant (right)

Although Dr. Lim would need to perform an exam and take impressions and a CT scan of your mouth, many dentists replace lateral incisors with mini-implants. It might work for your case, too. After an exam, a skilled implant dentist will explain which implant size will work best for your case.

Dental Bridge – An Alternative to Replace a Missing Tooth

A dental bridge can replace a missing tooth. It contains at least three adjoined crowns:

  • Crowns on the end of the bridge are anchors
  • Center crown replaces missing tooth

Your dentist must grind down the tooth on either side of the missing one so the end crowns will fit over your natural teeth. But if your teeth are healthy, why grind them down? Dental implants do not require work on other teeth.

Schedule consultations with at least two dentists with advanced implant training to discuss your options for replacing your missing lateral incisor.


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