Dental Replacement Options for Missing Molars
The loss of teeth due to trauma or decay can impact both your bite and your confidence. Choosing a dental replacement will keep neighboring healthy teeth from sinking in towards the hole from the missing teeth. The right dental replacement will also help with your bite. Your dental treatment options depend heavily on the number and location of the missing teeth.
Molars are located at the very back of the mouth. Technically, molars include the wisdom teeth but those are non-essential and are frequently extracted before eruption. The other molars are used for grinding down food so a loss of multiple molars can cause bite and chewing issues.
Here are some of the dental replacement options you can discuss with your dentist or denturist if you have missing molars.
A dental bridge consists of two key parts: an artificial composite-material crown bonded to healthy teeth and an artificial tooth that hangs between the crowns. The benefits of a bridge include low cost, quick and painless installation and the potential to reverse the bridge in the future for a different type of replacement.
However, the requirement of healthy teeth on each side of the missing tooth can create problems depending on what molars you're missing. If you have the first molar and the third, or wisdom tooth, then a bridge should work well to replace the missing second molar.
However, if you're missing the second and third molar, there's nothing at the back of your mouth to hold that bridge in place. You will need to consider a different dental replacement option.
The dental implant procedure begins with your dentist inserting a metal artificial tooth root into your jawbone. Healing time is scheduled to allow the bone and tissue to naturally fuse with that root to provide stability. Then an artificial tooth is snapped into place over that root.
Implants don't require healthy neighboring teeth for support. And the stabile root gives patients a more natural feeling bite for chewing. The downside is that implants tend to be one of the most expensive replacement options. You might decide the cost isn't worth it for a molar, which usually don't carry a heavy load during the chewing process.
If you have more teeth missing on one side then just your molars, then partial dentures might provide a solution for your problems. The basic partials consist of a custom-made plate containing artificial teeth where they are needed surrounded by a frame that can fit over neighboring healthy teeth for stability.
Missing quite a few teeth on one side? You can combine dental implants and partial dentures. The denture plate can then snap down over the artificial implant root for added stability. For more information, talk to a professional like Calgary dentures.