If you have a missing back tooth, you might not feel it’s essential to replace it. But as missing teeth dentists, we know that ignoring gaps in the mouth (even in the back) can have dire consequences.
The urgency to replace a missing back tooth and your options
On the face of it, a missing back tooth might not seem so bad. But it can cause underlying oral health concerns in the future. For example, any tooth loss (no matter how you lost it) increases the chance of gum disease and decay significantly, meaning infections can quickly spread through the mouth, causing further tooth loss whether it’s in a short space of time, or further down the line.
If this is the case, patients with missing teeth are urged to treat them earlier than later, as problems with their oral condition could prevent them from undergoing simple, traditional procedures as easily and may require instead, more complex treatments that are more expensive.
The type of restoration you choose will also be important for preserving the integrity of your oral health. Denture options, for example, replace the gap and can prevent facial sagging, but they will not be sufficient enough to prevent bone deterioration, gum shrinkage, gum disease and future tooth loss.
Reliant on Adjacent Teeth
- Lasts 5-15 years
- Stops teeth shifting
- Restores function
- Healthy teeth need to be filed
- Teeth require dental crowns
- Tooth decay is common
- 1.5 hours placement
- 2-4 weeks to heal
*Veneers were combined with this bridge procedure
Using implants to secure the bridge:
Partial Denture (Metal Better)
Metal is Better
Should you replace a missing molar? Ask yourself these three questions
- Two in a row
- More than one, but not in a row
Teeth in the back of the mouth, or missing molars, provide essential support for the face and cheeks. They also ensure the biting force is distributed evenly, so one or more missing teeth in the back could deteriorate your oral health and cause bone to deteriorate through lack of support.
- Teeth are moving or shifting to the open space
- Gum disease is damaging your natural teeth
- Other teeth are more sensitive or painful
When gaps are ignored in the back portion of the mouth, gum disease can easily spread through the upper jaw and even cause sensitivity and pain to remaining teeth as they take on more pressure and load.
- Avoid smiling wide
- I don’t mind the gap
Anyone who feels self-conscious or tries to hide the gap when smiling wide might feel better relieved to replace their missing tooth. Some patients might feel ok or see it as non-essential to close the gap. But they may discover later down the line more problems with their oral health that will make it harder for them to receive traditional restorations further down the line.