Young children aren’t the only ones who lose their teeth. The average American adult loses 12 permanent teeth to decay, injury, or gum disease by age 50! Here at Pragma Dental OKC, we see this more than you may think. This is also more than a cosmetic issue; missing teeth can weaken your jawbone, impact your bite, and make it much harder to chew and talk.
You might be quick to replace a front tooth, but what about a back tooth? Can you ignore a missing back tooth without consequences, or will your dental health be placed at risk? Here’s what you need to know to make a fully informed decision.
Consequences of Not Replacing Your Back Tooth
It’s common for adults to lose a back molar, often to gum disease, tooth decay, or injury. Since back molars don’t affect the overall appearance of your smile, you might be tempted to skip replacing it. That’s not the best idea. Missing a tooth, even just one, can cause severe and permanent damage to your entire mouth.
When you lose a back molar, its surrounding teeth are also impacted because they lose surrounding structure and support. Unfortunately, this causes your other back teeth to shift. Just like trees naturally grow toward sunlight, teeth naturally shift toward empty space. Unless the empty place left by your missing molar is filled with a denture or implant, the surrounding teeth can shift and become misaligned.
Misaligned teeth cause more than a cosmetic headache. They also increase your risk of tooth decay, gum disease, occlusion issues, and additional tooth loss. You’ll also experience more difficulties chewing food and talking. These are serious issues that shouldn’t be ignored. The longer you wait to address a missing back tooth, the worse the consequences become and also the more costly they may get.
The Best Ways to Replace a Tooth
Don’t worry, missing back tooth replacement options in OKC isn’t as difficult or painful as you may think! It’s surprisingly easy and affordable to replace a back molar with a dental implant.
A dental implant is the single best way to replace your tooth because it actually implants into your gum tissue and fuses with the jawbone to recreate the functions of a real tooth. An implant can stop surrounding teeth from shifting and deteriorating while simultaneously restoring your ability to chew and talk properly.
If you’re not ready to commit to an implant, a partial denture can help. Although this is not the most favorable option, it can help with chewing and talking. However, since there isn’t anything stimulating the bone here, teeth can still shift and you are likely putting more stress on the adjacent tooth which can weaken over time.
Oklahoma City Restorative Dentistry
Work with an experienced restorative dentist like Dr. Grace Jun to discuss your tooth replacement options. Why risk the ongoing damage caused by missing teeth when so many tooth replacement options are available?