It’s easy to see why most people would be concerned about losing their front teeth; the resulting gap will draw a lot of unwanted attention. But what about the teeth way in the back of the mouth that no one else will see? Surely it would be easier just to live with the empty space, right? In truth, losing any tooth is a serious problem. Here’s why dental implants for your back teeth are a worthwhile investment.
What Happens if My Back Teeth are Missing?
The back teeth play an important role in chewing and help keep the bite even, preventing too much pressure from being put on the front teeth. If they’re missing, you’ll experience more difficulty while eating the foods you love and risk excessive wear and tear of your remaining teeth; an irregular bite may even cause a TMJ disorder, leading to constant jaw pain and other issues.
Furthermore, any missing tooth can have a negative impact on the remaining teeth. Any tooth adjacent to the empty space will sift out of place; this can set off a chain reaction that causes the rest of the teeth to shift as well. This can further damage your ability to eat properly.
Finally, the jawbone where the tooth was lost will deteriorate over time. This is because it no longer receives the stimulation that tells the rest of the body to maintain the area. A weakened jawbone can ultimately lead to more tooth loss – in other words, once one tooth goes, others may not be too far behind.
The bottom line is that your back teeth may not affect your smile at all, but they’re still important; if you lose them, a replacement could be the key to protecting your oral health in the future.
So What Should I Do About a Missing Tooth in the Back?
Nowadays dental implants are usually considered the best option for filling empty space in the mouth. Unlike traditional dentures and dental bridges that sit on the gums, implants are directly integrated with the jawbone, preventing deterioration. Furthermore, implants provide increased stability and can almost match the chewing power of natural teeth (which makes them a particularly good option for replacing back teeth). An implant topped with a well-designed crown will also prevent adjacent teeth from shifting out of place.
That said, not all patients can get dental implants; there needs to still be enough bone height in the jaw for a successful integration. Some patients may need to explore different tooth replacement options, or they might need additional surgery for an implant procedure to be successful.
If you lose a tooth for any reason, you should speak with an implant dentist as soon as possible; the sooner you get a suitable replacement, the better!
About the Practice
At Bethel Dental, our dentists follow a philosophy of making our patients feel as comfortable as possible while providing comprehensive, personalized care. Dental implants and other forms of tooth replacement are available for any number of missing teeth. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.