You lost one of your molars crunching on some ice, and you were unable to get to the dentist in time to have it replanted. Looking in the mirror, though, it doesn’t seem too bad. When you smile, you can’t even tell there’s a tooth missing. You might think that this means you don’t have to worry about replacing it, but that would be a mistake. Getting dental implants isn’t just for improving your grin; it’s also important for protecting your oral health.
What Happens When Back Teeth Are Missing?
Your molars play a large role in chewing; in particular, they help ease much of the pressure that it places on the front teeth. If your molars are missing for whatever reason, the remaining teeth will be subject to excessive wear and erosion. It will also be much harder to chew effectively.
Furthermore, there are several issues that will occur when there’s empty space in your smile no matter where the missing tooth was located. As time goes on, your pearly whites will move slightly to maintain contact with each other. If a tooth is lost, the remaining teeth will shift dramatically, and your bite could eventually be completely compromised.
Finally, if you’re concerned about your appearances, missing molars can still cause problems for you even if no one can see the gap. Without the stimulation of chewing, the jawbone near the site of the missing tooth will start to break down. This eventually causes a significant loss of facial height, causing you to look older.
Why Is It Important to Replace Back Teeth with Dental Implants?
Replacing your molars with dental implants will allow you to continue chewing normally and safely. Thanks to the added stability and strength of the implant posts, you’ll be able to enjoy a wider variety of foods than you could with a missing tooth or with other forms of tooth replacement such as traditional dentures. Also, as long as the dental implant and the crown it supports are properly designed, they will completely fill the empty space in your mouth and prevent your natural teeth from drifting out of place, thus helping to preserve your bite.
Dental implants are also the only type of restoration that replace both the roots of the tooth and the visible crown that’s used for chewing. As such, they help prevent bone loss from occurring and maintain your facial height, which goes a long way towards keeping your more youthful appearance.
To avoid the long-term consequences of missing teeth, it’s better to receive dental implants as soon as possible. Call your implant dentist as soon as you lose – or expect to lose – one of your pearly whites. No matter which tooth is missing, replacing it with a dental implant will keep your smile healthy and full!
About the Author
Dr. Megan A. Shelton earned her Doctor of Dental Medicine at the University of Louisville School of Dentistry. She enjoys how dentistry allows her to combine the medical and business skills that run in her family. At Polished General Dentistry in Carlsbad, she is happy to recommend dental implants as a solution for many kinds of tooth loss. To schedule an appointment, visit her website or call (760) 434-9800.