A missing tooth can cause multiple problems. This can be both an oral health and a cosmetic issue. Missing front teeth can be the most embarrassing because these teeth are far more visible than back ones. However, if you have lost a molar, you should not ignore it. It is wise to speak to your dentist to discuss your options for replacing it.
Molars play a key role in the chewing process. These teeth grind food into smaller pieces, making it less challenging to eat certain items. With a missing molar, an individual may have a harder time chewing effectively. A missing back molar can also cause the surrounding teeth to drift and shift. They could become loose, and the patient could soon have another missing tooth. When the other teeth change positions, there could be misalignments, leading to a higher risk of tooth decay.
A dental bridge is a good choice to replace a lost molar if the surrounding teeth are healthy. The dentist will put a crown over the teeth on either side of the gap. An artificial tooth will go where the lost tooth was. A dental bridge does not have the same bite force as natural teeth. However, people may choose this option when finances are a factor. A bridge does not require the same financial commitment as other treatments.
Dental implants are another viable choice for missing back molars. Patients tend to get implants when they are missing one or just a few teeth. Implants consist of a titanium post that the dentist places deep into the bone, an abutment, and a crown. The crown is natural-looking in size, shape, and color.
Implants also restore the patient’s ability to chew. They can revive smiles too. To get implants, however, the patient must undergo a series of invasive surgeries. It usually takes months to finish the entire process.
People may think of dentures as replacing every tooth in the mouth. Partial dentures are available as well. For a missing tooth in the back, a partial denture can work well. The denture consists of an acrylic or metal base with a natural-looking artificial tooth attached to it. The base has clasps that snap over the remaining teeth, much like an orthodontic retainer. Dentures do not last as long as implants, but the process of getting them is much less involved.
Before choosing a treatment for any missing tooth, the patient should meet with the dentist. The dentist will talk about all the factors with each option. The dentist will take X-rays and make impressions. The dentist will also explain why it is vital to replace the tooth as soon as possible.
It may seem fine to leave that space where your back molar used to be. Do not make the mistake of ignoring the need to replace it. To prevent further tooth loss or other oral health concerns, fill in that gap. Your dentist will suggest a treatment that makes sense.
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