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    Thread: extracting a molar - what about not replacing it?

    1. #1
      Join Date
      Aug 2012

      Default extracting a molar - what about not replacing it?

      My initial post was very long. I'm starting a brief second topic on this side issue to make things easier all around.

      If I opt to extract a molar - what are the dangers of not having it replaced with something? Isn't it bad to just leave an empty space?

      It is the second from the back molar - on the top. It would be the only tooth extracted, unless the twin molar on the other side of my mouth may also end up needing to go some time later.

      A friend had one or two molars pulled and she said she is horror stricken over how much movement and play there is in her remaining teeth now.

      I read that bone fills in the missing space fairly soon - and it would be hard to decide later to get a bridge or implant or whatever.

      If I do need to put something in the empty spot, what are my options?

      I'd hate to mess up my bite significantly - I already have some tmj issues. For vanity, I'd also hate to make my teeth shift around and look bad. I don't have a bad mouth overall.

    2. #2
      Join Date
      Apr 2012
      Cleveland, OH (USA)

      Default Re: extracting a molar - what about not replacing it?

      Hi ScaredKitty,

      Hopefully one of the professionals here can lend an opinion, but here's what I know.

      After the tooth is extracted, a blood clot forms in the empty socket (this sounds really gross, but mostly it just means it bleeds for a little while and then stops). The clot protects the socket from any contamination or other foreign matter getting in and irritating the nerves and blood vessels. Very soon after, bone starts to fill in the empty space, and typically within about six months the bone is restored. The bone is all below the gumline-- you won't actually grow a new tooth, obviously!

      The growth of this bone is actually very good. It provides structure that helps prevent movement from other teeth, and is actually necessary if you want to get an implant later (the implant needs something to bond to). A bridge is like a three tooth crown: the two adjacent teeth will be shaped to accept a crown, and then the two outer crowns of the bridge are bonded to these, with the middle crown fitting on top of the missing tooth. I think this also provides some structural support, since the crown maintains the right lateral separation (although only above the gumline). The third option is a "flipper" or partial denture, which is really mostly cosmetic.

      All of these options are designed to deal with a missing tooth, and the healing process of bone regrowth doesn't interfere with your ability to pick one later down the road. (Not everyone is eligible for implants, but usually the problem there is not enough bone, as opposed to too much).

      I'm not sure of all the possibilities of movement of the surrounding teeth. I think for a single tooth the impact isn't all that great. But I think it also varies from mouth to mouth. You should definitely consult with a dentist to see if they can give you a better idea from looking at your mouth and xrays.

    3. #3
      Join Date
      Aug 2012

      Default Re: extracting a molar - what about not replacing it?

      Hi kitty, totally understand your concern. I had my first molar out on one side last year and last week have had to had opposite 2nd molar out.... Now got wisdom tooth infection behind it and was in a flap thinking may lose all chewing surface on one side, so Steve this is very informative thanks. To be honest kitty it isn't really pleasant having molar out but my other past one hasn't given me any trouble, teeth don't move, am amazingly unaware have got one less tooth and alsO means dreaded wisdom teeth can grow through plus gap reduces. Am hoping wisdom tooth on new side finally comes through and don't need implant etc but it's good to know it isn't something have to do straight away. Good luck it will be fine

    4. #4
      Join Date
      Aug 2012

      Default Re: extracting a molar - what about not replacing it?

      from my limited reading, removed molars tend to cause the teeth in front of them to shift forward. somebody please correct me if i am wrong.

      i am now (as of an hour ago) missing 5 molars, 1 premolar, and 2 wisdom teeth. the only shift i have seen is my canine tooth upper right shifting slightly, and my solitary molar between two spaces slightly loose - but not to the point where it bothers me or is a problem (yet). these small issues are from two teeth i had pulled 3 years ago, and i am just starting to see the effects of the shifting and such in the past few months or so. everyone is different though, so my experience cannot be concluded for everybody's experience - all mouths are different.

      as for replacement options, they are ALL way above my budget and finances, so i might (or not) have the opportunity to think about that in the future. single implants are what i'm considering, unless more of my teeth have to go in future years, then the All On 4 denture implant is something i would think about.

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      elynch (26th August 2017)

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