Is It O.K. to Do a Dental Implant on a 17 Year Old Boy?

My 17 yo son was recently diagnosed with an external resorption of tooth #8 (idiopathic, no known hx of trauma). His dentist, peridontist, and recent oral surgeon consult all recommend dental implant surgery. My primary concern is the timing of the implant. The oral surgeon recommends sooner rather than later due to risk of fracture vs. extraction and further loss of structure on which to build an implant. My son just turned 17, has gone through puberty. Is it too early to do an implant?

Doctor Answers 7

Dental implant at 17 y.o.

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The golden rule for teenagers is to go ahead with implant placement once the skeletal growth is completed. This is diagnosed after the x-rays of the wrist and consult with his current physician. Usually the teenagers before 19-20, especially boys, are not considered for implant therapy. The early placement due to continuing growth can lead to unaesthetic results. Probably the best option for your son will be to wait a couple of years for the final implant placement.

Dental Implants in a 17 year old boy

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This is a topic that has seen a bit of controversy.  The key to this discussion is the implant should be placed when the growth of the patients jaw has completed.  This age is different fo everyone and to set an age as a rule is not the answer.  The upper and lower jaw complete their growth at different times and males and females complete there growth at different times.  The upper jaw stops its growth prior to the lower jaw, so tooth # 8 falls into this catagory. I have placed several implants in 17 and 18 year old males and 16 year old females with excellent long term results, the key is that the growth has almost ceased.  This can be determined with serial cephalometric radiographs over time or hand and wrist films.  Every individual is different.  Seek the advice of a Board Certified Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon for this issue.  They are the qualified individuals for this specific issue, no other doctors perform surgery for jaw growth issue more.

Brian Dorfman, MD, DMD
Phoenix Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon

Too young for dental implants?

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The question is has your son completed his growth?  Teeth undergo transition until growth is complete.  In addition there is and passive eruption that occurs throughout life.  What does this mean?  If your child gets an implant to soon and the jaw and teeth are transitioning the implant might be placed in the wrong position.  Over time as the teeth undergo there natural movement into the adult bite the implant tooth will remain in the same spot and resulting in a poorly aligned implant tooth which may or may not be able to be corrected.   As passive eruption occurs the gum slips up the teeth creating longer teeth in life if the implant is not placed deep enough then over time a black shadow can developed at the gum line and or the abutment can become exposed to the oral cavity. 

Teeth undergoing external resorption can go on to fracture and or become ankalosed making the tooth difficult to remove and hence make for a more complex replacement. 

I would wait to place the implant if possible.

Dr. Tamara Rojas D.M.D., P.A. 

Tamara Rojas, DMD
Hollywood Dentist

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There is no set age limit for placing implants, However

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There is no set age  limit for placing implants. However, the rule of thumb is when the individual is not in the growing years.  How can you tell , usually  wisdom teeth erupt by age 22-23, and it should be a good indication that it can be done . best thing to do is to is to extract and bone graft and  hold the space with a interim partial or a space maintainer.

Good luck


Soheyla Marzvaan, DDS
Orange County Dentist

Implants on a 17 year old Male

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I would recommend waiting a couple of years at least until it is more certain your son has stopped growing.  I have seen a case where implants were placed before growth was finished and there were significant changes in the appearance over time and not for the better.  A fake tooth can usualy be bonded to the adjacent teeth and look nice until a better time to place the implant following the extraction.

Implants should be done only after growing

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Although your son has external resorption and his tooth needs to be extracted , the timing of the implant is very important.  If done before your son has finished growing it can lead to cosmetic issues that are very expensive to correct.  The best course of action would be to extract the tooth, use a temporary tooth in the interim and then when he is a little older place the implant and crown

Leonard Tau, DMD
Philadelphia Dentist
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

Implants should be done only after done growing

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It is important to be sure the patient is completely done growing, otherwise some very expensive and complicated surgery will be needed when they are older.  Girls usually finish growing before boys, so 17 might work for them but 17 is likely pushing it on a boy.  Consider an extraction, graft and something to hold the space until he is done growing.

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.