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    Thread: Do you REALLY need your back teeth?

    1. #1
      Join Date
      Jan 2007
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      Default Do you REALLY need your back teeth?

      Both of my very back bottom molars are broken and I asked if they could just be pulled out, because I can't stand to have anyone work that far back in my mouth, and the dentist said to me that no, that wasn't an option - I had to have them fixed with a root canal and crown. I'm just not able to do that, so I left them alone... but now one of them is infected and I don't have any choice any more. I really tried to let the dentist do the root canal yesterday and I just couldn't do it... so she reluctantly gave me a referral to an oral surgeon to knock me out and pull it out. Is this such a bad thing?

    2. #2
      Join Date
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      Default Re: Do you REALLY need your back teeth?

      Well I suppose every tooth in our mouth is there for a reason and obviously it is best to keep as many teeth as possible. I only know that I did very well without my back teeth for many years, didn't affect my eating or anything though I guess one of our dentists will come in and say that while I couldn't see anything detrimental happening to the rest of my teeth because of the missing ones, it could be likely.

    3. #3
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      Default Re: Do you REALLY need your back teeth?

      Annie778s reply is excellent- it covers alot of the reasons for keeping all your teeth if possible.
      I usually advise people- if it can be saved then they should probably go for that option.
      My rationale for this is that you never know what will happen in the future. If the tooth is removed and then something happens to the next one along and it HAS to be removed- you end up with a much larger gap and much more of an issue.
      Another factor to consider is that if a tooth (especially a lower one) is removed- sometimes the opposing tooth will 'overerupt'. This happens over a number of years usually but can mean that you end up losing another tooth.

      On the other hand, if the tooth requires root treatment and a crown- having it removed is a reasonable alternative to consider- and you do have that option.
      Ultimately it is your choice. Many people would make the decision to just have it taken out.
      Generally most people can eat, speak and keep a good smile with what is known as the 'shortend dental arch'. A 'shortend dental arch' basically means that there are no molars- but the premolars (bicuspids) are present (and obviously all the incisors/canines also).
      Obviously without seeing your mouth I cannot give any clinical advice, however I honestly believe that although you would miss the tooth, it would have minimal impact to your quality of life (with regards to aesthetics, speech and function) if it were removed.
      I think here in the UK, people do opt for extraction over root treatment more than they do in North America. Nevertheless I do believe that at the end of the day, if you have a tooth with is badly broken down and requires root treatment- you should have the option to have it removed if you prefer. It is up to you!
      Regards
      Mike
      Last edited by DrMike; 27th April 2008 at 00:10.
      Dr Mike Gow BDS (Gla) MFDS RCPS (Gla) MSc Hyp (Lon) PGCert (Edin)
      The Berkeley Clinic, Glasgow
      www.WhatFear.Com

    4. #4
      Join Date
      Jan 2007
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      Default Re: Do you REALLY need your back teeth?

      Thank you for those informative answers... I was really just wondering why several dentists have all said 'you HAVE TO have the tooth fixed' as if it would destroy my mouth forever to get rid of it... I know a lot of people have to have teeth pulled for orthodontic reasons, but I've still got every other tooth in my mouth except the wisdom teeth. Anyway, I just CAN'T sit through a root canal that far back in my mouth, conscious sedation with a pill won't work on me, and they can't do it while I'm out cold, so I don't really have any choice.

    5. #5
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      Default Re: Do you REALLY need your back teeth?

      That happened to me when I went to the dentist, too. I had a molar on the top right that was horribly decayed, and I had just assumed that of course they would pull it. They really surprised me when they informed me that it needed to be crowned and saved! I asked them if we couldn't please just remove it instead, as my insurance would have paid for that 100% and a crown would cost me quite a bit of money lol.(And, to be honest, my phobia was strong enough at that point to make me want to just have it over for good!!) They explained to me that if they did that, the opposing tooth would no longer have anything to bite against, and it would overerupt-- and I'd end up losing it too. Now, I didn't mind the idea of losing one badly decayed tooth, but I wasn't quite ready to start losing perfectly good ones for no reason! I got the crown, and it's amazing how much it feels like the original tooth in my mouth. I'm not sorry that I kept the tooth, now that it's over.
      Your mouth is your mouth, though! You have to do what seems right to you and your dentist, so I'm not trying to say you should do as I did. I just wanted to let you know about my experience.
      Hang in there!!

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