Can my teenager get dental implants?

My daughter had some teeth that never came in. She’s really embarrassed about it. Is there a way a teenager (15) can get dental implants?

Alicia – Montana


Your daughter likely has congenitally missing teeth. It’s fairly common, but for a teenager can be a little discouraging. There at an age where they feel like they have to look perfect.

Unfortunately, dental implants are not a good treatment for teenagers. The reason for this is their jaw is not fully formed.

My suggestion would be to see a cosmetic dentist. There are treatments they can do to make her feel better about her smile.  Even then, you’ll have to replace it every few years.

Then, when she’s in her 20s dental implants will be a good option.

This blog is brought to you by Salem Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Randall Burba.

Help me convince my mother her dentist is a terrible cosmetic dentist

I love my mom. She is probably the most genuine, kind-hearted woman on the face of the earth. Unfortunately, that makes her kind of a target.  Her dentist, who by all accounts is a great family dentist is trying to talk her into a very expensive cosmetic procedure–Lumineers. He says they’re so easy any dentist can place them. Her teeth are discolored, mostly due to age and her front tooth is chipped.  Will you tell my mother what she needs for this is a cosmetic dentist? Please?!

Laquishia S. – Birginia


There’s nothing more valuable in the world than a kind-hearted mother.  Their tenderness makes life more joyful.  You’re right that your mother needs a cosmetic dentist. What you may not realize, though, is there isn’t a recognized specialy in cosmetic dentistry. Therefore any general (family) dentist can alos be a cosmetic dentist. All they have to do is learn the procedures. So, how do you find the best dentist for the best mom?

Before your mother starts kindly telling you, “I told you so,” I am apt to say her current family dentist doesn’t qualify—for a couple of reasons.

1. Lumineers. His boast that lumineers are so easy to place that anyone can do it has me very nervous as to what kind of smile she’d have ended up with.  He’s right about one thing, getting certified to place lumineers is easily done. They simpley pass a written exam that is designed to see if they get the concepts. So, in that case, her dentist is right. Any dentist can pass that test.

They’re marketed to family dentists who want to cash in on the surge of interest in cosmetic procedures. They are ultra thin. The benefit to dentists is that little tooth prep is required because of that (though I will say it should be).  Without it, though, they can look bulky.

Unfortunately, that isn’t the hard part about Lumineers (or any other brand of porcelain veneers).  The hard part is the artistry. That takes years of study and practical training.

2. The choice of procedure.  Yes, Lumineers can fix chipped and discolored teeth, but it is a very expensive way to do so. If that is all that bothers your mom about her smile, than teeth whitening followed by dental bonding to repair the chips is a MUCH less expensive route to go.

However, if there were other thing that have always bugged or nagged at her about her smile, then porcelain veneers are a great tool to get a complete smile makeover. In fact, she can get a drop dead gorgeous smile.

In that case, it is a matter of finding that best cosmetic dentist in your area.  Ideally, you want a dentist who is accredited with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD). They are the top, most artistic cosmetic dentists in the world.  You want accredited…not just a member.  Membership can be attained by any dentist. Accreditation requires serious skill and artistry.

This blog is brought to you by Salem, MA Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Randall Burba.