Losing a front tooth is losing the most visible part of the teeth. Social and vain beings that we are, it’s a natural reaction to prioritise them over the back tooth or the molar.
It’s all well and good until one of the molars falls out and people leave it as is. ‘No one will see it, anyway,’ says one patient, echoing a thousand more.
Visible or not, the loss of one tooth can lead to the shift of the adjacent teeth, and eventually, causing the failure of the bite support. So, should you worry about losing one back tooth? The short and simple answer is yes.
You can start worrying by considering dental implants, the only permanent solution to missing teeth. Harley Street Dental Clinic describes them as small titanium screws acting as tooth roots and providing stable support for your denture, crown or bridges.
From a dental perspective, missing back tooth needs replacement for the loss of function caused by their absence. Other than their obvious role in chewing, the back teeth influence the overall bite and support for the front teeth.
When you lose a back tooth, your chewing may be impaired, and the remaining teeth may tip, migrate and rotate, increasing your risk of gum disease. It may also result in erosion of the remaining teeth and loss of alveolar jaw bone. In worse cases, you can develop a temporomandibular joint disease (TMJ), a painful dysfunction of the joints connecting the skull and the lower jaw.
Contrary to common belief, the loss of teeth hidden from sight will eventually trigger changes in your appearance. For example, your facial height may decrease, a change that grows more noticeable over time.
Replacement is intended to prevent some of these effects, but which method is most effective? Dentists often recommend an implant for a single missing tooth over partial dentures and bridges, mainly for their enhanced stability and support. Overall, the best advice is to pay attention to your dentist – theirs is the most valid opinion when it comes to your oral health.