It is very obvious that whenever we are faced with the reality of losing a front tooth, the first thing on our minds will be “how is it going to be replaced?” The very notion of leaving the dental office without a front tooth is enough to cause even the most confident people anxiety.
However, this urgency of needing to replace a tooth is not the same when the situation involves a back tooth. It’s because no one sees a back tooth, and there are still teeth around that area that you can still chew on anyway. Why would I spend all this money to replace a tooth no one sees?
But this is a short-sighted view. Your back teeth are immensely important, just like your front teeth. In fact, losing a back tooth will eventually lead to losing more back teeth. This can be due to changes in bite from the drifting of teeth around the space, gum disease, and fracturing fillings on the remaining teeth that may result in crowns and root canals.
Also, losing multiple back teeth will give you no choice but to chew on your front teeth. Chewing on your front teeth can lead to tooth mobility and occlusal trauma that will eventually lead to losing your front teeth. In essence, losing a back tooth can lead you to losing the precious front teeth!
The cost of replacing a back tooth seems a lot at the time – especially when just extracting that tooth will solve your immediate problem. But not doing so will lead to much higher costs in the future to fix the teeth around the space. It is more worthwhile to fix and replace one tooth than it is to repair the damage on multiple teeth as a result of losing one tooth.
So remember, prevention is key. Replace back teeth to maintain your bite and ensure keeping the rest of your teeth for years to come.
Judy Chau DDS
Quality Dentistry for Kids and Grownups