Int J Oral Maxillofac Implants 15 (2000), No. 2 15. Apr. 2000
Single-tooth implants are an increasingly popular method for replacing single teeth. While the effects of growth on implants in children have been well documented, the changes that occur in adults have not been studied with respect to single-tooth implants. It has been assumed that adults are stable and do not change; however, research in the last few years has indicated that adults do change with aging, and adult growth does occur. The changes in adults occur over decades rather than rapidly, as seen in children. Aging changes are readily apparent in the soft tissues of the face and create dramatic changes. Changes in the jaws and teeth occur as a result of continued, slow growth, in contrast to the aging effects seen in soft tissues. Growth changes occur in the arches and result in adaptive changes in the teeth over time, both vertically and horizontally, and in alignment. These dental changes may result in a lack of occlusion vertically or malposition of adjacent natural teeth relative to the implant crown. Clinicians may be well advised to observe and report these changes and warn patients that changes can occur over the service life of the implant-supported crown. These changes may require maintenance adjustments or possible remaking of the implant crown as a result of adult growth, wear, or the esthetic changes of aging.
Keywords: adult growth, aging, single-tooth implant