Region Jnkpings ln Odontologiska Institutionen

Use of dental implants in children up to the age of 16 years in Sweden

Bergendal B


The aims of the study were to investigate the use of dental implants in children up to the age of 16 years and to evaluate the outcome of treatment in terms of lost implants. Special attention was given to children with hypohidrotic ectodermal dysplasia, HED, and anodontia in the lower jaw, a situation where early implant treatment has been advocated in single case reports.


A questionnaire was mailed to specialist clinics in oral- and maxillofacial surgery and prosthetic dentistry in Sweden, asking them to report age, gender, diagnosis and implants placed in children. After compilation of the answers, the teams who had treated children with HED were asked to send radiographs and clinical photos. The documentation was distributed to 3 specialists in oral and maxillofacial surgery who participated in a telephone conference on hypothetical reasons for implant loss.


Responses were obtained from 30 specialist centres. Six centres reported 26 treated patients, 18 girls and 8 boys, during a twenty year period, 1985–2005. the reasons for treatment were non-syndromic tooth agenesis (14), trauma (7), and HED (5). In all, 47 implants were placed and 11 were lost. In the HED group treated from 5–12 years of age, with anodontia in the lower jaw, four had lost implants; 9 out of 14 implants (64.3 %) were lost before loading. All four children had new implants successfully placed directly after healing or in their late teens. At the conference with oral surgeons about the high failure rate in children with HED, preoperative conditions and not HED per se were thought to account for implant loss. The small dimensions of the jaws, and a dense cortical bone, were hypothetical reasons discussed.


Dental implants is a rare treatment modality in young children in Sweden. Only one in five specialist centres reported treatment and only 26 children were treated over a twenty year period. In patients with HED and anodontia of the lower jaw four out of five had lost implants before loading. Implant surgery in small children with HED must not be considered routine treatment and should ideally be centralized.

Uppdaterad: 2013-04-03
Anna Thofelt, Avdelningen för odontologisk radiologi Jönköping, Folktandvården