Abstract

The aim of the present study was to evaluate the long‐term effect of implants installed in different dental areas in adolescents. The sample consisted of 18 subjects with missing teeth (congenital absence or trauma). The patients were of different chronological ages (between 13 and 17 years) and of different skeletal maturation. In all subjects, the existing permanent teeth were fully erupted. In 15 patients, 29 single implants (using the Brånemark technique) were installed to replace premolars, canines, and upper incisors. In three patients with extensive aplasia, 18 implants were placed in various regions. The patients were followed during a 10‐year period, the first four years annually and then every second year. Photographs, study casts, peri‐apical radiographs, lateral cephalograms, and body height measurements were recorded at each control.

The results show that dental implants are a good treatment option for replacing missing teeth in adolescents, provided that the subject's dental and skeletal development is complete. However, different problems are related to the premolar and the incisor regions, which have to be considered in the total treatment planning.

Disadvantages may be related to the upper incisor region, especially for lateral incisors, due to slight continuous eruption of adjacent teeth and craniofacial changes post‐adolescence. Periodontal problems may arise, with marginal bone loss around the adjacent teeth and bone loss buccally to the implants. The shorter the distance between the implant and the adjacent teeth, the larger the reduction of marginal bone level. Before placement of the implant sufficient space must be gained in the implant area, and the adjacent teeth uprighted and paralleled, even in the apical area, using non‐intrusive movements. In the premolar area, excess space is needed, not only in the mesio‐distal, but above all in the bucco‐lingual direction. Thus, an infraoccluded lower deciduous molar should be extracted shortly before placement of the implant to avoid reduction of the bucco‐lingual bone volume.

Oral rehabilitation with implant‐supported prosthetic constructions seems to be a good alternative in adolescents with extensive aplasia, provided that craniofacial growth has ceased or is almost complete.

Author notes

1Department of Orthodontics, University of Göteborg, Sweden 2The Brånemark Clinic, University of Göteborg, Sweden