Do I Really Need to Replace a Missing Back Tooth?

August 19, 2022

Filed under: Uncategorized — gratefuldentists @ 4:31 pm
woman with a dental implant chewing a red apple

If you lose one of your front teeth, replacing it as soon as possible is a no-brainer. But what about if you’re missing a tooth toward the back of your mouth? After all, no one around you will be able to tell that you don’t have all of your pearly whites. Unfortunately, tooth loss is more than just an aesthetic issue. Even just one missing tooth can impact your daily life and long-term oral health in ways you might not have considered. Here’s what you need to know about whether you should replace a missing back tooth.

What Happens If a Lost Tooth Isn’t Replaced?

You might be tempted to not bother replacing a molar since it doesn’t affect your appearance. However, leaving the space empty can lead to serious and even irreversible oral health problems. For example, you might have to contend with:

  • Difficulty eating – The molars are responsible for chewing food. Without all of them, eating becomes harder, so you might have to abstain from certain foods.
  • Wear on remaining teeth – The teeth that are left may erode more quickly because they have to receive the chewing force that was meant for the missing tooth. As a result, the nearby teeth may become sensitive, decayed, or broken. They might even need to be removed as well.
  • Jawbone loss – After a tooth’s roots are gone, the underlying bone in the jaw loses the stimulation it once received from chewing forces. Over time, the jawbone begins to weaken and shrink, causing the facial muscles to sag and make a person look older than they are.
  • Misalignment – Teeth naturally press against the ones on either side. Once a tooth is lost, the adjacent teeth will shift into the gap, throwing off the alignment of your overall smile. This could lead to discomfort and a host of other dental problems.

Your Options for Replacing a Missing Back Tooth

There are plenty of options for replacing a lost molar. One of the most common is a dental bridge, which consists of three or more fused dental crowns, with the ones on the end fitted over your natural teeth. While a bridge can prevent your teeth from drifting and helps with chewing, it doesn’t address the problem of jawbone loss.

A dental implant, however, does. An implant is a titanium rod that your dentist surgically places into your gum tissue. There, it integrates with the gums and bone in the exact same way that the natural tooth used to. A dental crown can then be attached on top of the implant. Because a dental implant is built exactly like a real tooth, it will prevent all of the problems caused by a missing tooth.

Even though no one can tell whether you’re missing a back tooth, it’s in your best interest to replace it with a dental implant as soon as you can. Reach out to your dentist today to get started!

About the Practice

Grateful Dentists is proud to have three experienced dentists on staff, each of whom is skilled in a wide variety of areas of dentistry. This includes dental implant placement; we’re able to complete every step of the treatment process under one roof for your convenience and comfort. If you’re looking to replace a missing back tooth in Billerica, MA, look no further than Grateful Dentists! To learn more, contact us via our website.

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