I have a baby lateral incisor still, even though I am sixteen years old. I would like to replace it so I can have a “grown-up” tooth. Can I replace it with a dental implant? I am planning on having my senior pictures taken in the fall. I’d like to have something that looks nice.
A dental implant is a great tooth replacement option. However, before you do that, two things need to be in place. First, you will want to make sure that you do not have an adult tooth under your gums that is impacted. If you do, a dental implant will not work because there will be no place to put it. The tooth root will be in the way. Instead, you will need to work with your dentist to open the gum and direct the tooth into its proper position. This may require some orthodontics, but if you get on it quickly, you shouldn’t have any trouble getting some beautiful senior pictures.
If, however, you are dealing with a congenitally missing tooth, then it will definitely need to be replaced. While a dental implant is the best tooth-replacement option, you will need to wait until your jaw is completely developed. This will be in your early twenties. Until then, you will not need to go without a tooth there. After you have the baby tooth extracted, I would suggest a temporary tooth replacement, such as a dental flipper.
Finding the Right Implant Dentist
Once it is time to get that dental implant, you want to be careful about who does it. This is the leading area for dental malpractice suits. This is because too many inexperienced (or worse, untrained) dentists do this procedure with horrible consequences for the patient. There are a couple of things you will want to look for in the dentist you choose.
First, their dental implant training. Dental school is not enough. Ask them what type of post-doctoral training they have in the dental implant procedure. If they are offended by that question, it means they don’t have the training and you need to seek a dentist elsewhere. Secondly, you will want to ask them their success rate. It needs to be no lower than 95%. While there will always be some cases that fail, due to no fault of either the dentist or patient, when done by an experienced and skilled dentist most will succeed.
This blog is brought to you by New Orleans Dentist Dr. Duane Delaune.