Natural wear and tear affects the strength of your teeth. Over time, you might lose a tooth due to an accident or deterioration.
When we think of tooth replacement, we often refer to our front teeth. When we lose one of our front teeth, we want to have them replaced right away.
For back teeth, we often don’t pay much attention to them because they don’t affect our smile and overall appearance. However, our back teeth are just as essential in maintaining our overall oral health.
The Problems of Not Having Your Back Teeth Replaced
Having your missing back tooth replaced right away reduces dental-related problems like:
Shifting of Teeth
Failure to replace a missing tooth causes other teeth to shift and take up the created space. They might move too much to the point it causes discomfort.
Excessive Wear and Tear
When you lose a back tooth, other teeth will be under great pressure, possbly resulting in greater wear and tear. You might lose other teeth around the gap, leading to worse dental problems. The jaw joints can also bear heavier loads, causing earaches and headaches.
Overeruption happens when the teeth of the opposite jaw grows toward the gap of the missing tooth. This may close the gap between your teeth, but it affects the shape of your jaw.
The abnormal growth of the teeth may harm the jawbone and gums around the gap. The change in your jawbone’s natural structure may lead to gum disease.
Change in Facial Appearance
With back teeth missing, the distance between your upper and lower jaw will close, leading to a change in your facial appearance. You could have premature wrinkles, which will make you look older than your age.
Your Options for Replacing Missing Back Teeth
When you lose a back tooth, visit your dentist right away. They will check the extent of the damage and recommend dental implants or bridges.
Getting dental implant surgery is the most preferred option for replacing a tooth. The procedure requires thorough preparation to ensure that there is enough bone that will adequately support the implanted tooth.
The dentist will conduct a CT scan of your teeth, mouth, and jaw to assess the amount and shape of bone available for the implant. If there is enough bone, they will place a titanium screw in your jaw. For the next few weeks, your jawbone will grow around the screw so that it anchors firmly in place.
The final step involves the dentist removing the implant’s screw cap and screwing a porcelain crown designed to match the rest of your teeth.
A dentist may recommend bridges if you’ve lost multiple teeth. After taking a CT scan of your teeth, the dentist will create artificial teeth and fuse it to a metal frame.
Bridgework is a shorter procedure compared to implants. However, you need to visit your dentist several times for imaging and impressions, preparing the supporting teeth, and fitting the temporary and permanent bridge.
Since missing front teeth are considered unacceptable in terms of aesthetics, you might consider replacing your back teeth as less of a priority. However, not attending to your back teeth can cause various problems in your teeth, mouth, jaw, and facial appearance. When you lose your back teeth in an accident or natural wear, visit the dentist right away to have it replaced.