Dental implants in adolescents

The World Health Organization defines an adolescent as being between the ages of 10 and 19. The jaw bone undergoes dynamic growth activity during these years. Placing dental implant in such an environment can lead to unpredictable results. A major concern in placing dental implants in adolescents is the possibility of relocation or displacement with time with respect to natural dentition. In addition, the placement of a rigid implant-born prosthesis may inhibit growth activity.Researchers suggest that maxilla changes in all 3 planes of space.

It is difficult to predict the behavior of implants in this dynamic situation. To prevent complications and enhance predictability, it is best to wait until cessation of growth before dental implant placement in a young person. Girls grow actively until 14-15 years of age; boys, on the other hand, typically stop growth at age 17-18 years. the most ideal method to assess growth status is not chronological or even dental age but comparison of a skeletal film over time (hand-wrist or lateral cephalometric).

Particular developmental disorders may necessitate the use of dental implants in still-growing adolescents. For instance, hypohidrotic ectodermal dysplasia cause hypodontia. Generally speaking, it is prudent to wait until the completion of skeletal maturation before dental implant placement to avoid imperfect fixture postioning or stunt osseous expansion.