My teenage son has a tooth that over the last few months has gotten darker in color. He hasn’t really been too concerned how it looks and it doesn’t seem to be causing him any pain. I didn’t think someone so young could have a dead tooth, but I guess he must have hit it on something. I’ve also heard that when you have a dead tooth it is painful. I’m taking him in to have it looked at and if the dentist confirms that it is dead, can he get a dental implant? It’s summer right now, but I don’t want him to go back to school with a big gap in his smile. — Eileen
Anyone at any age can have a dead tooth. Most often, trauma to the tooth is the cause, but you should have it looked at by a dentst to confirm.
In most cases, a dead tooth doesn’t need to be removed. It can actually be saved by a root canal. It can’t be brought back to life, but it can look almost good as new again when treated.
If your dentist would happen to determine that the tooth needs removed, an implant is not the best option at this time because his jawbone still has a lot of growing to do. He could be well into his early 20’s before it actually stops growing. Some dentists will place mini dental implant in teens, however there are concerns that the implant won’t be esthetically pleasing as the jaw grows and other permanent teeth move into place around it. For now, don’t worry about how to replace the tooth, just get him in for an exam and go from there.
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