3 Reasons It’s Worthwhile To Replace A Back Tooth

If you lose a front tooth, you obviously want to replace it because doing so will preserve your appearance. But when it's a back tooth that has been lost, some people are tempted not to replace the tooth. You may figure it's silly to bother since nobody can see the missing tooth and you can still chew. However, replacing a back molar is still very important for the following reasons.

1. It will prevent the other teeth from shifting

Your teeth are each kept in place, in part, by the teeth that are next to them. If you are missing one tooth, the neighboring teeth will tend to slowly shift into the place left by the missing tooth. This can cause these neighboring teeth to experience extra pressure on certain surfaces, which in turn can lead to mouth pain and jaw aches. Replacing the missing tooth, preferably with a dental implant, will keep the neighboring teeth in better health.

2. It will protect your jaw bone

Each of your teeth is anchored into your jaw bone by a ligament. The teeth put pressure on your jaw bone, and this pressure stimulates blood to flow to that portion of the bone, keeping it alive. If you lose a tooth, that pressure is lost -- and your jaw bone may start to deteriorate as a result. This can also put a strain on and threaten neighboring teeth, and it can also affect your appearance. If your jaw bone starts sinking in, the profile of your face may start to look a little different.

3. It will make cleaning your teeth easier

Cleaning around an area where a tooth is missing can be tough. You may not get in the space properly, causing the neighboring teeth to be left covered in plaque and harmful bacteria. This can lead to cavities and bad breath. Once you have the missing tooth replaced, you can go on cleaning and caring for the replacement tooth just as you would with a natural tooth.

If the cost of replacing a missing back tooth has you concerned, talk to your dentist. In many cases, this procedure is at least partially covered by insurance, and your dentist may offer other financing programs to make it more feasible. In any event, it is always smart to replace a missing tooth, even if it is in the back and you cannot see it.

For more information, contact a dentist like John S. Lyon DDS.