I have a teenage daughter and she has a congenitally missing tooth. It isn’t noticeable when she talks, laughs, or smiles. Although, she seems suddenly highly self conscious of the matter and I want her to have the confidence that most girls her age already have. She’s literally begging me to find out how to get it fixed for an early birthday present. When we have explored the option with dentists in the past, it seems dental implants are the ideal choice to replace a missing tooth. But, the dentist we are seeing now will not do it until she is much older. He said he recommends waiting until her growing is done. I don’t think I can put her off for a few more years. Why can’t we move forward if she’s willing and ready? Do we have any other options?
-Sheila in New York
Sorry to hear of the unfortunate situation your daughter is dealing with. Aesthetics and how your smile look is directly connected to self esteem and self worth. So it is no surprise you want what’s best for your daughter.
You have been informed correctly regarding a dental implant. It is indeed the best, most permanent solution to replace a missing tooth. And even though she’s more than ready and you want only the best for your daughter, the dentist is correct. Your daughter’s facial muscles and bones are still developing in her teenage years. Dental implants are expensive and you don’t want to have to have the work re-done in a couple years when she’s having problems with it. An implant will not grow along her her jaw. It will actually end up looking like it is buried. So, it is best to wait until she’s done growing, into her adult years. But there are some other aesthetic options that may be more of a temporary fix. You should have a consultation with an experience cosmetic dentist in your area.