If you lose a tooth in the front of the mouth, you’re probably going to want to replace it right away. But if you lose a tooth in the back of your mouth, you might be tempted not to replace it. However, there are good reasons to replace missing teeth in the back of the mouth, especially with a dental implant.

Why Replace a Missing Tooth in the Back

There are more reasons to replace a missing tooth than the visible gap in your smile. Not replacing a back tooth can have significant consequences that you’ll see and feel.

Not replacing a tooth can lead to drifting teeth. This can cause the front teeth to become gapped or crooked, and it can make it harder to chew, and harder to keep your teeth clean. You may notice that you are getting more food uncomfortably stuck in your teeth.

Also, if you don’t have good occlusion in the back of your jaw, you are at an increased risk of developing TMJ.

Finally, the loss of a tooth in the back can cause the resorption of bone that used to support the tooth. When this bone is removed, it can lead to a change in your facial appearance, accelerating the appearance of aging.

dental implants

Partial Dentures: a Basic Approach

Partial dentures are a minimalist approach to replacing lost teeth. They can stop teeth from drifting, but they won’t help you chew. They also can’t support your bite the way your natural teeth did.

Partial dentures can also be uncomfortable because of the large structure necessary to support them. The clasps and hooks that hold them in can also cause wear and decay on neighboring teeth.

Why Dental Bridges May Not Be Right

In most situations, a dental bridge is almost as good as a dental implant. They’re fully fixed restorations, so you can eat comfortably, and they look great. But they may not be the best choice in the back of your mouth.

A dental bridge is an artificial tooth supported by dental crowns over the tops of adjacent teeth. Most of the time, that means that there are two teeth to support the dental bridge, which helps balance the forces.

But in the back of the mouth, we often have only one tooth to support the dental bridge. With the high bite forces that the bridge will have to sustain in the back, this creates a potentially disastrous situation. The bridge may cause the failure of the supporting tooth.

So we’ll proceed with caution when it comes to a dental bridge.

Dental Implants: the Best of the Best

Dental implants are always the best tooth replacement option, but nowhere is this clearer than when we’re replacing teeth in the back of the mouth.

A dental implant fully replaces all the functions of a back tooth. It’ll hold teeth in place, and it’ll allow you to chew normally. And it’s strong enough to support a healthy bite so you won’t be at risk for TMJ. Plus it will stimulate your jawbone, so you won’t see a loss of bone that can affect your facial appearance.

If you have lost one or more teeth and want to find the best tooth replacement option in Detroit for your situation, please call (248) 656-2020 today for an appointment with a cosmetic dentist at Rochester Advanced Dentistry.