It’s common for people to lose their back teeth due to untreated gum disease or tooth decay. Tooth loss can have a negative impact on your oral health, chewing ability, and quality of life. Missing back teeth replacement is a treatment option for those who lost their molars or premolars, for example, dental implants, bridges, or dentures. In this blog post, we’ll discuss the different types of replacements for lost back teeth, and the pros and cons of each type.
How Can Missing Back Teeth Affect Your Overall Health?
Back teeth refer to premolars and molars in the upper and lower jaws. Missing back teeth have a large impact on your overall health. They affect chewing ability, which can lead to malnutrition if left untreated. Chewing problems can cause muscle atrophy and jaw joint pain. Also, missing premolars can affect your smile, making it less attractive, which can lower your self-esteem. Missing back teeth replacement will allow you to bite foods properly again and restore your smile.
Benefits of Tooth Replacement for Missing Back Teeth
Tooth replacement for missing back teeth can improve your oral and overall health. Tooth loss causes the jawbone to deteriorate over time, which can affect the appearance of your face. After tooth extraction, the jawbone loses 25% of its width during the 1st year and 40% of its width during the first 1–3 years. Tooth loss also puts more pressure on your remaining teeth, causing them to become loose and fragile and increase the likelihood of tooth decay. Benefits of tooth replacement include:
- Improved chewing ability.
- Restore a more natural smile.
- Prevent future tooth loss.
- Implants can prevent jawbone resorption due to tooth loss.
- Maintain your face’s natural shape.
- Improve your oral and overall health.
- Improve your self-esteem.
Types Of Tooth Replacement Options
There are 3 types of tooth replacement for missing back teeth (premolars & molars): dental implants, bridges, and dentures. Each type has advantages and disadvantages which we’ll discuss.
Dental implants have become the most popular form of tooth replacement for missing back teeth. They are titanium metal posts that replace your lost back teeth and provide a sturdy foundation for dental prostheses such as bridges and dentures. Dental implants are also a great option to replace missing front teeth such as a missing lateral incisor.
- Pros of dental implants: they feel just like your natural teeth, which means you can eat anything you want. Implants are durable and can last for more than 20 years. Implants have been proven to be the most successful tooth replacement option available today.
- Cons of dental implants: they are very expensive and require multiple visits for surgery and post-surgical appointments to place.
Bridges are another popular form of teeth replacement for missing back teeth. It consists of two or more crowns and artificial teeth in between. The crowns are cemented to the adjacent teeth.
- Pros of dental bridges: you can eat anything you want. This is the most affordable tooth replacement available today, and they are also pretty durable if cared for properly.
- Cons of dental bridges: They require the preparation of adjacent teeth for support, which cause irreversible damage to them. Bridges can also be difficult to clean, which is why regular dental visits are highly recommended after replacement with a bridge.
Dentures are removable prostheses that consist of an acrylic base with artificial teeth. Dentures can be complete or partial. Complete dentures (a full set) replace all upper or lower teeth, while partial dentures replace a few missing teeth.
- Pros of dentures: they provide you with an affordable replacement for missing back teeth. Dentures are also very easy to clean and maintain.
- Cons of dentures: they can decrease chewing ability because the fit is never as comfortable as natural teeth and can cause jaw joint pain in some people. They can also break easily if not taken care of properly. Dentures are not as durable and long-lasting as bridges and implants.
Factors to Consider Before Choosing Tooth Replacement for Missing Back Teeth
The type of tooth replacement you choose depends on a number of factors including:
- The location of the missing tooth.
- The number of missing teeth.
- Condition of existing teeth.
- Your budget.
- Your medical situation.
- Personal preference.
If your back teeth (premolars or molars) are missing, talk to your dentist to decide which tooth replacement option is suitable for your needs.
Missing Back Teeth Replacement – Conclusion
Tooth loss can negatively impact your chewing function and overall health. Tooth replacement can replace your missing back teeth, restore chewing function, and improve your quality of life. Tooth replacement options include dental implants, dental bridges, and dentures.
Dental implants are the best treatment option for replacing missing teeth. However, they are more expensive than bridges and dentures and require a surgical procedure. Dentures are an affordable option but not as durable as other tooth-replacement types. Dental bridges are the most common type. They are durable, long-lasting, and less expensive than implants. Consult with your dentist before making any decisions about which option is right for you.