Tag Archives: missing teeth

Ensure the Best Outcome with the Right Care for a Teen’s Missing Tooth


While it’s possible for a teenager to lose a tooth from decay, it’s more common they’ll lose one from an accidental knockout. If that happens to your teenager, there are some things you should know to achieve a good outcome.

Our top concern is to preserve the underlying bone following tooth loss. Like other tissues, bone has a life cycle: older cells dissolve and are absorbed by the body (resorption), then replaced by new cells. The biting pressure generated when we chew helps stimulate this growth. But bone around a missing tooth lacks this stimulation and may not keep up with resorption at a healthy rate.

This can cause a person to lose some of the bone around an empty tooth socket. To counteract this, we may place a bone graft at the site. Made of bone minerals, usually from a donor, the graft serves as a scaffold for new bone growth. By preventing significant bone loss we can better ensure success with a future restoration.

Because of its lifelikeness, functionality and durability, dental implants are considered the best of the restoration options that can be considered to replace a missing tooth. But placing an implant during the teen years is problematic because the jaws are still growing. If we place an implant prematurely it will appear to be out of alignment when the jaw fully matures. Better to wait until the jaw finishes development in early adulthood.

In the meantime, there are a couple of temporary options that work well for teens: a removable partial denture (RFP) or a fixed modified bridge. The latter is similar to bridges made for adults, but uses tabs of dental material that bond a prosthetic (false) tooth to the adjacent natural teeth to hold it in place. This alleviates the need to permanently alter the adjacent natural teeth and buy time so that the implant can be placed after growth and development has finished.

And no need to worry about postponing orthodontic treatment in the event of a tooth loss. In most cases we can go ahead with treatment, and may even be able to incorporate a prosthetic tooth into the braces or clear aligners.

It’s always unfortunate to lose a tooth, especially from a sudden accident. The good news, though, is that with proper care and attention we can restore your teenager’s smile.

If you would like more information on how to treat lost teeth in teenagers, please contact us by calling (815) 741-1700 for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Dental Implants for Teenagers.”

Five Reasons to Choose Dental Implants

dental implants.

If a missing tooth is preventing you from feeling confident about your smile and even making chewing more difficult, then you may be interested in dental implants. Considered one of modern dentistry’s best options for replacing missing teeth, dental implants are best explained by first picturing a natural tooth.

A natural tooth has two main parts: the crown, which is the part you see in the mouth above the gum line; and the root, which is inside the bone. A dental implant permanently replaces the root part of the tooth with a special metal insert that is placed in the jawbone with minor surgery. A crown restoration is then placed on top of the implant. Click here to see a video of how dental implants are placed.

Here are a few reasons why you might want to consider dental implants:

  1. Authenticity. Dental implants look and feel just like your natural teeth. The reason is that the titanium of which dental implants are made has the unique ability to fuse with living bone.
  2. Durability. Because implants are made from titanium and can last a lifetime as they join to the bone through a process called osseo-integration, they are very durable. Titanium will not decay and the non-porous surface resists tartar formation, allowing implants to be relatively free from gum disease.
  3. Preservation. Tooth loss is usually followed by loss of bone in the jaw, which can lead to problems with your bite and potentially to permanent changes in your facial appearance. However, when you choose to get a dental implant, you’re choosing an option that helps prevent further loss of bone.
  4. Versatility. Dental implants can be used in a variety of ways to replace missing teeth, including replacing a single tooth, multiple teeth and even all of your teeth. Implants can also be used to support a permanent or removable denture.
  5. Reliability. Documented research shows success rates of more than 95% — the highest of any tooth-replacement option. Even in areas of low bone density, success is very common.

If you would like more information about dental implants, please contact us by calling (815) 741-1700 to schedule an appointment or request your consultation online. You can also learn more by reading “Dental Implants: Your Best Option for Replacing Missing Teeth.”