Single Molar Denture: Pros, Cons, & Alternatives

Losing a single molar can affect your chewing ability Also, it can cause shifting of the neighboring teeth and overeruption of the opposing tooth. So, you need to replace this missing tooth. A single molar denture is one of the treatment options to restore chewing function and prevent complications. Also, there are other treatment options to replace a single missing molar such as dental bridges and implants. Each one of these options has pros and cons.

Effects of Losing Back Teeth (Molars)

The loss of molars can affect your oral health. Effects of losing a tooth include:

  • Decrease in chewing efficiency and ability to chew hard foods, such as apples.
  • Shifting of the adjacent teeth to close the gap of missing tooth.
  • Reducing the gap of missing tooth makes replacing it very difficult.
  • Overeruption of the opposing teeth.
  • The loss of the height and width of bone in the area of the missing tooth.

Getting a fake tooth can help you restore chewing function and prevent the shifting of the adjacent teeth.

Effects of Losing Back Teeth (Molars)
The consequences of tooth loss include shifting of adjacent teeth and overeruption of the opposing tooth.

What is a Single Molar Denture?

A single molar denture is a partial removable prosthesis that replaces a missing back tooth in the upper or the lower jaw. It consists of an artificial tooth (molar) attached to an acrylic base.

Pros of Single Molar Dentures:

  • An affordable option in comparison with other types of tooth replacements.
  • Can help you to restore the chewing function.
  • Prevent the shifting of adjacent teeth.
  • You can remove them when they are not needed.
  • Can be easily cleaned and maintained because they are removable.

Cons of Single Molar Dentures:

  • Can slip out of place when you speak or eat.
  • It may not last as long as other solutions to replace a single molar.
  • Usually, it is considered a temporary solution.
  • Noticeable when talking or smiling.
  • You need to remove it for cleaning and at night.
  • They can be uncomfortable to wear.
  • Dentures can cause pain in the gums and ulcers because the acrylic base can irritate the soft tissues of your mouth.
Single Molar Denture
A single molar denture consists of an acrylic base with an artificial tooth.

Alternatives to a Single Molar Denture

There are other missing back teeth replacements. You can replace your missing back tooth (molar) with a dental bridge or single implant. Each option has pros and cons.

Dental Bridges – The Common Option

A dental bridge is a fixed prosthesis that consists of 2 or more crowns and a false tooth in between. The crowns are cemented to the adjacent teeth and the false tooth fills the gap of the missing molar. Learn more about bridge types in dentistry.

Dental bridges are an ideal option for replacing your missing back tooth (molar) because they are non-removable. You can speak and eat without any restrictions. They are strong, durable, and can last for many years.

However, a dental bridge is more expensive than a denture for a single molar. Also, it requires the reduction of adjacent teeth for support, which requires anesthesia. Read more about a removable denture or fixed bridge for one missing tooth.

Fixed dental bridge
Fixed bridges are more stable and durable than removable dentures.

Dental Implants – The Best Option

A dental implant is a titanium post that is surgically inserted into the jaw bone for replacing a missing tooth (molar). It fuses with the jaw bone and provides solid support for a crown.

The dental implant is the best option because it can last a lifetime with proper care. It allows you to eat and speak like you normally do without any restrictions or limitations. Also, Dental implants prevent the loss of bone height and width.

However, a dental implant is more expensive than a single molar denture or bridge. Also, the placement of implants requires surgery, which means that it involves anesthesia and may cause post-operative pain and swelling. If there is not sufficient jaw bone for implants, your dentist may recommend a bone grafting procedure, which will increase the total cost of the implant procedure. Read more about the treatment options for replacing a pulled tooth.

Single Molar Denture – Conclusion

Single molar dentures are an affordable alternative to dental bridges and implants. They can help you to restore chewing function, prevent the shifting of adjacent teeth, and can be easily cleaned. However, they may not last as long as other options, can slip out of place when you speak or eat, and may be uncomfortable to wear. If you have a missing back tooth (molar), then we recommend that you consider other options like dental bridges and single implants instead of single molar dentures.

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