… OR, DO I NEED TO GET AN IMPLANT TO REPLACE A MISSING MOLAR?
The American College of Prosthodontists reports that 178 million people in the US are missing at least one tooth. Delta Dental Northeast reports that nearly half of Americans ages 65 and older have lost six or more teeth, and 20 percent have lost all of their teeth.
When the missing tooth is visible when smiling, most people will replace it with a dental implant or other tooth replacement option.
However, when the missing tooth is a molar or toward the back, it can seem less important to do anything. The logic goes: “if no one can see it, it’s not as important as a missing tooth closer to the front.”
Missing back teeth are common because the molars are the first adult teeth to erupt and unfortunately, often the first to be lost due to decay or fracture. And, as this post hopes to convey, the impact of a missing back tooth on your smile is equally as important in the long run as a front tooth.
A missing back tooth compromises chewing function and initiates a cascading series of events over time:
- Remaining teeth, gums, ligaments, joints and jaw muscles are affected.
- Burden of mastication (chewing) is shifted to remaining teeth.
- The unopposed tooth on the opposite side erupts.
- Bone loss sets in, creating cosmetic issues, such as wrinkles around the mouth. Upper and lower lips lose fullness and appear thinner.
- Decrease in facial height as the distance between the tip of the nose and chin reduces and the chin moves forward.
A dental implant is the best tooth replacement for both front and back teeth, as it functions like a natural tooth. Dr. Peter J. Pagano has simplified the process of getting dental implants by providing all dental implant related procedures in one office since 1999. As a Fellow and Diplomate in Oral Implantology, he is a board-certified oral implantologist, a newly recognized specialty in the field of dentistry.
With advanced technology, including 3D imaging, state-of-the-art sterilization, laser therapy and the most natural dental materials available that are effective, we’ve become the Go-To Center for Tooth Replacement. In that we offer all tooth replacement services, we create customized treatment plans based on our patient’s unique dental condition. Our approach is simply to find out which option works best for our patient, based on his/her dental condition, needs and budget.