My son hates his “zombie” tooth! It is ugly and keeps getting darker. We like to joke around with him about it and we didn’t think it would phase him. But lately, as he is becoming more interested in the ladies, I think it is bothering him more and more. The tooth was probably damaged during one of his BMX tricks because he is obsessed with the sport. Is the tooth dead? Can he get a dental implant at 15 years old?
– Bianca in New York
“Zombie” tooth was probably funny at one time, but at 15, he is probably approaching high school if he hasn’t already started. No one wants to be worried about their gray tooth keeping the ladies away.
Based on what you described, coupled with your son’s BMX hobby, it does sound like he is dealing with a dead tooth. If the tooth was traumatized during a fall or impact of some kind, that could very well be what has caused it, even if it never hurt. And even though your assessment sounds accurate, it is always best to consult with your dentist.
You didn’t state how much time has gone by since you noticed the tooth as dead. If the tooth is taken care of right away, a root canal may have saved the tooth. But if some time has gone by, there is a strong possibility that the tooth cannot be saved.If that is the case, then a dental implant would be the best solution to replace it.
If the tooth does indeed need to be extracted, your son may need to wait awhile longer before moving forward with dental implant treatment. This is because it is best to wait until the jaw bone is done growing. On average in males, that will be in your son’s early twenties. That said, you may be able to find a dentist in your area that would place a mini implant. This would probably be viewed as a temporary replacement since the jaw isn’t done growing yet. A mini implant will not look as aesthetically pleasing as a traditional implant and the other teeth may shift around it.
At this point, it really is a good idea to get in with an implant dentist to see what your son’s options are. You may also find an implant dentist in your area that also offers cosmetic dentistry treatment. This would be a good fit in that a cosmetic dentist will truly understand the appearance-related concerns.
Thanks for your question!
This post is sponsored by York PA dentist Donald H. Currie, DMD General & Cosmetic Dentistry