Lost Back Molar: What are my tooth replacement options?
Although they are less of a factor cosmetically than some other teeth, your rear molars play an essential role in your smile. They are instrumental in chewing tougher foods, and they also serve as “bookends” for the other teeth in your smile. If you lose one of these important teeth, you should investigate all of your options for tooth replacement.
Dental implants can be an appropriate treatment for the loss of a back molar. The implant serves as an artificial tooth root and supports a prosthetic crown to stand in for the missing molar.
When an oral surgeon places a dental implant as a stand-in for a molar, the bone osseointegrates with the implant, which becomes a fixture in the jaw. The physical link with the jaw renders the dental implant more lifelike than other options for tooth replacement, like a dental bridge, which could also replace a molar.
After you’ve experienced tooth loss, it’s recommended to pursue tooth replacement as soon as possible, especially when the tooth in question is a molar.
If you fail to replace a missing rear molar, your smile may suffer from a number of long-term consequences. Because the molars play such an important role in chewing, you may not be able to process food as efficiently. Furthermore, in the absence of the molar, the other teeth may begin to shift to fill in that empty space.
Additionally, your jawbone will erode at the site of the missing tooth. This can compromise the stability of the remaining teeth. Delaying tooth replacement can also affect the patient’s ability to get a dental implant, if this bone loss is extensive enough that there is insufficient bone material to support the bond with the implant. In such cases, a bone graft may be necessary to make the patient an appropriate candidate for dental implants.
A missing rear molar can be replaced by a dental implant. Contact a member of our experienced staff at Charlottesville Oral Surgery & Dental Implant Center to learn more about dental implants and how they might benefit you. Call 434-295-0911 to schedule your visit.