Am I Too Young for a Dental Implant?


Tanya asks:

Is a bone graft on a 16 year old a good idea? What about an implant, is 16 too young? Will the graft continue to grow with the jaw or is it better to wait until the child is done growing?

Answered by: Dr. Ken Ross

Lighthouse Point, FL

Hi Tanya,

Generally we do not place implants in patients until they are indeed done growing. This usually occurs approximately at 16 years for girls and 18 years for boys. Bony growth plate completion can be easily confirmed by a wrist x-ray by your doctor.

Bone grafting is not as simply explained. There are many different theories. Essentially though a 16 year old should be able to have successful bone grafting without interference in growth plates. Placing bone is not like placing a dental implant. Bone can always be re-contoured later if too much is obtained. Additional bone should not hypothetically interfere with growth. It is accomplished in orthopedics all the time!

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Expert Advice and Comments
drkazemi's picture

Best age for dental implants

Answered By: Dr. H. Ryan Kazemi - Bethesda , MD

Implant may be placed safely once the individual has completed their growth. This occurs earlier in females (age 16 or so) and a bit later in males (18-20; although some may have a growth spurt even up to age 21).

The same holds true for necessary bone grafting.

One way to assess the growth stage, is by performing a hand X-ray to determine if it's ok to proceed or wait.

Dr. Kazemi

Dr. H. Ryan Kazemi

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