I have a ten year old son who lost a tooth in a skateboarding accident. I was told he wasn’t old enough for a dental implant. However it was suggested he get a Maryland Bridge as a temporary replacement. I wanted to double check this. I thought a dental flipper would be better but he said removable things are bad for children. I can’t imagine why. He’s ten not three. Am I just being cheap? Also, if he can’t have the dental implant now, when can he?
The reason your son can’t have a dental implant yet is because his jaw is not done growing. Once it is, then he can safely have a dental implant placed.
While I agree with your dentist on the dental implant, I don’t agree with him on the Maryland Bridge. These are not actually temporary replacements. Look at the picture below and you’ll see that for it to stay properly his teeth have to be prepared for the bridge. This is permanent. Once tooth structure is removed, it’s gone.
I don’t think you are being cheap. I think you’re being practical. A dental flipper is not a choking hazard for a ten-year-old. Let’s say for arguments sake he was more worried about him losing the flipper. There are two arguments against that reasoning:
- Most children are motivated to not have a missing permanent tooth.
- You could replace several dental flippers and still not reach the cost of a Maryland Bridge
My suggestion is get the flipper. You’ll have to get a few in his lifetime, but that’s still more cost effective than other options.
When is a Dental Bridge a Good Idea?
If your son were an adult and needed a tooth replacement, either a dental implant or a dental bridge would be fine. However, if the adjacent teeth needed work too, then a dental bridge would knock out two problems at once.
This isn’t your son’s situation. So, I say follow your instincts and get the flipper.
This blog is brought to you by Fountain Valley Dentist Dr. Tammy Tran.