Posted on: 17 August 2017Share
Children and young teens are always getting into trouble. Sometimes that trouble involves bumps, bruises and broken teeth. Young adolescents aren't so bothered about a broken tooth here and there and may even be proud when showing a chipped central incisor to their friends. However, teens are an altogether different prospect. For them, image is everything. This means that they will want to get a broken tooth fixed as quickly as possible.
Besides its appearance, a broken tooth is also more susceptible to decay. Likewise, the nerve within may be at risk of becoming infected if the damage isn't repaired quickly. Veneers serve many purposes. One of those is to hide broken or chipped teeth. Unfortunately, this option is not available to pre-adolescents and young teens because they are simply too young.
Veneers Aren't for Growing Mouths
The jawbones of females don't stop growing until they are around 17; for males growth might not stop until around 20. As a general rule, dentists will advise patients below these ages to wait before getting veneers—even when teeth are damaged. Some dentists may place veneers on patients slightly younger than this, but it depends on the case.
Pre-adolescents still have a considerable amount of growth to go and so are not suitable candidates for veneers. If a veneer is placed too early, the position of the gums and teeth may change with future growth, and this will compromise the aesthetics of the veneer; for example, a gap between the veneer and gum may become visible with time.
Bonding Today, Veneers Tomorrow
For pre-adolescents and young teens, the best way to go would be to cover the broken or chipped tooth with composite bonding. Composite bonding does not require the removal of enamel—veneers do. This makes them a much better option. Furthermore, composite bonding is also easy to remove. Although it isn't as strong a material as say, a veneer, it is less costly and can be replaced once or twice until a child is old enough for veneers.
Keep in mind though, that healthy teeth with slight issues such as mild discolouration or overcrowding can be treated with Invisalign or teeth whitening instead of veneers. Because veneers require enamel to be removed, even when a teen is old enough to get them, they should think very carefully before doing so. Sometimes, healthy natural teeth are superior to veneers.
If your child is under the recommended age of 17 for girls and 20 for boys, repair their tooth with bonding for now. Their blushes will be spared and their tooth will stay healthy until later when they can opt for veneers. Contact a child dentist for additional advice.