• Dental Phobia Support

    Welcome! This is an online support group for anyone who is has a severe fear of the dentist or dental treatment. Please note that this is NOT a general dental problems or health anxiety forum! You can find a list of them here.

    Register now to access all the features of the forum.

Has anyone ever had a missing lower first molar and never replaced it?



Well-known member
Jul 9, 2022
Dealing with dentists has felt like a miserable fight my whole life. I lost my lower first molar and had it replaced by an implant. I argued about implants for years, I was told I absolutely must replace it, and was also pushed to have a bridge or partial denture by different dentists. I dealt with refusal to extract it without me agreeing to have it replaced. I eventually went through with it, and the implant and crown were a miserable process and I have ended up not particularly happy I did it, in some ways I regret it.

When I look at older generations, my mom's friend is missing both lower first molars with no replacement, and no issues but some mild teeth shifting, my dad is missing all his 2nd molars and another molar with no issues but some teeth shifting, and my mom is missing a molar with no issues at all. My parents told me they were never pushed to replace their missing molars, they were offered bridges that they declined. I have had dentists yell at me, write treatment plans in front of me for an implant after I said I didn't want treatment, all kinds of things, in the push for an implant. No one ever told me that putting crowns on implants is a seriously painful procedure, worse than many teeth extractions, the crowns look terrible, that implants themselves and their crowns, are full of rotten smelly food, and that implants aren't removable without serious surgery that causes lots of damage. The feeling and look of the crown constantly bother me, and I feel my mouth is dirtier with this thing.

Is anyone missing a molar they didn't replace, especially a lower first molar?

I know I will lose my other lower first molar at some point and don't want to replace it. I would rather just have nothing, I don't want a bridge, implant, or partial denture. I start to suspect I don't really need to replace it. I am starting to think the push to replace is about money, especially the push for implants. I have been pushed for orthodontics, and to get veneers and crowns too, and I see all these treatments being used more and more, and I wonder if dentists are just claiming they are more and more necessary when they aren't. It seems like people have more dental work done now than ever before. Teeth look so straight, white, and artificial, compared to how they did when I was a kid. I wonder if the reason I am being pushed so hard is my generation. No one is even offering my parents implants for their missing molars.

If you are missing a molar I would really appreciate hearing about it, especially if it has damaged your other teeth.
Not me (I’m missing four teeth but they’re all upper and mostly at the front, I will be getting a partial for them, just a disclosure) but I have a family member who has none of their molars. For the most part, they don’t really have an issue except they can’t eat anything too hard because they have nothing to chew with. So for example, crunchy toast is pretty much a no go. They are a bit bothered by the fact their teeth have shifted, but again, it’s not too bad since it’s the molars, certainly not a daily complaint. I’ve seen them eat a whole steak without a problem. It’s just kind of adjusting to what the new normal is.

I really think it depends on the state of the teeth. Like dentistry has come so far, and while implants are 100% not necessary (and are indeed generally more about money than anything), I think sometimes people get caught up in all the work they can have done rather than simply what needs to be done. If you have other teeth that can help take the jobs of what your molars would have done, than if that’s what you really want, I don’t see why it can’t be what you do.

At the end of the day, it’s your decision! Just make sure you have all your facts and are as informed as you can be. That’s all you can do.
Yes I have both first bottom molars out and it's completely unnoticeable and does not effect my life at all in a negative way
@APhobicQueen @Kml1998 Thanks! It has been such a crazy experience being lectured for years that it is detrimental to be missing a tooth, and it must be replaced, to the point of two dentists losing their temper when I wouldn't proceed, it feels like gaslighting. And it just doesn't match up with what I am seeing in real life about missing teeth, so it is helpful to hear from you folks about your experiences, and makes me feel that I am not crazy to think it can be OK to be missing teeth, or a tooth. In the end, the crown on my implant was bigger than the space it was put in, so it shifted my teeth, which seemed very strange after being told I needed it to prevent teeth shifting, and also hearing many times from people who are not dentists that the teeth shifting from a missing tooth is no big deal. It is very helpful to hear your stories. Thanks again
I've only got 4 molars left. All unusable as they're mismatched/don't have the corresponding ones beneath.
All has been fine until the last few years and now my front teeth are wearing either by small cracks, chips (the ends of my teeth are transparent though), or decay, my jaw and bite is misaligned and my jaw makes a grinding noise.

Imo I should've got dentures a long time ago, but I was worried they were constantly unstable (I've been getting a tooth removed every year it seems), and I was worried about damaging remaining teeth with the clasps. In all honesty my dentist never discussed any of this with me due to being nhs, I just got the brush off every time I tried to ask re replacing teeth/dentures.

Now I've gone private as I can't get an nhs dentist and it's the opposite. One quoted 5k for a partial denture, another is adamant I will hate a denture and it's better to have implants and a bridge which is well over 10k, the other doesn't seem to care and is just like the nhs, only expensive instead...

Im too afraid to try a fourth place tbh. Im worn down with false promises of being good with anxious patients just to get you through the door, or just their over zealous treatment (10k implant man just kept picking away at my fragile teeth with his metal pick, despite wincing and white knuckles he commenced poking, prodding and scraping and that was just during his assessment, so I dread to think what he's like with the real tools in his hand.. his whole approach frightens me tbh)

I also don't have that kind of money either. How he's so sure I'd be happy with such an invasive procedure is beyond me. I've suffered for the last decade with my teeth and will not have one mplant when it's a risk for yet more pain and possibly bone graft etc etc, let alone 10 of them!

When I was missing one, it was fine. But I've lost 10 teeth, all chewing... Now the work is creeping to the front teeth, so your situation isn't as dire as mine! Your family, with similar history and genes are probably the ones to trust. People can make you feel pushed into things/backed into a corner I think, well I find that anyway x
@Nik19xo Hey I have the same front teeth problems as you! Thin teeth, chips, cracks, and tons of wear! In my case, the result of cosmetic/"preventative" orthodontics gone wrong as a kid, which is another experience that makes me fear dentistry. I also recently was told by an orthodontist I had a chance one of my front teeth is going to break the other because of the way they fit together now.

I'm sorry you were brushed off by the NHS dentist and they wouldn't even discuss treatment. And then you got the opposite extreme with those two private dentists. You deserve to be treated fairly, with your best interests as the main goal, by dentists. I wish we could all have that, we all deserve it, I believe. I have had the same experience, with being quoted tons of different treatments, and diagnoses all over the map, and totally different dentist to dentist. It really makes me lose faith but gain fear.

I hope you can find an option you want, be it a denture, or do nothing, or something else. A lot of people on here have dentures and bridges on implants and things, there is a lot of information in old forum posts about these things.
@NervousUSA oh dear, you too.. I used to think 'its ok, at least my front teeth are alright", now that's not the case, at all. So you have my sympathy there, esp as it wasn't your doing, so it's understandable you're afraid. I wish it were easier to trust people.
I did have one over zealous dentist who did a full side of fillings, managing to join a few of them together in the process, so I subsequently lost those teeth. I think that's where my initial fear comes from - worrying a dentist will do too much (and badly - which had happened again when one chipped some of my tooth, but tried to make out it was just food I had stuck in there 🙄 as if I don't know the shape of my own front teeth!). Funnily enough I went to the first guy as I asked my grandad where he went as he had a great set of teeth, it was only after I came out, nearly two hrs later, he said "oh, that's not my dentist"... Great. Needless to say that journey of trying to get my teeth right was cut short as he left me terrified once more.. then I'm only went when I was desperate!
Now I can't find a decent one, or one I can trust anyway, I've spent so much already and no where near out of pain. I do fear the future, perhaps the same as you. I have joined another forum, specifically for dentures as that felt/feels like the right path, but I still haven't got stable natural teeth so it seems pointless.

I never know whether these issues are genetic, or just bad teaching/habits passed down. or both. When I started having problems I began noticing so did my parents. I haven't known my parents to ever go to the dentist tbh, maybe my mum, once, when she was desperate.. my parents both have awful teeth, my dad's are broken or missing but he refuses to go, my nanna had full dentures by now.. If only we had teeth like sharks, just naturally replace the bad ones!

I really hope you get your situation resolved, you deserve to be free of pain or worries, we all do. Thank you for a lovely reply too (I'm sorry if I rambled too much about my issues, I try to explain I can relate but probably just end up whining! 🥴) x
@Nik19xo Thanks for the reply! Its just so good to talk to people in the same boat, and feel like I am not the only one! The story of the origin of your fear is a lot like mine, and that feeling you can't trust anyone, I share, so I can definitely sympathize! Thanks for sharing your experiences and your good wishes!
Thanks for sharing your experiences with implants. It's a relief to hear that your parents haven't really had any issues without an implant. I've been researching about whether I should get one or not. I got my lower first molar extracted about 2 years ago and haven't had it replaced since. I'm currently 30 and so far from what I've noticed, there's really been no issue with chewing, teeth shifting or jaw bone loss, etc. Before this, that first molar lived as a root canal treated tooth for around 10 years or so (was around 19 or 20 when the root canal treatment was completed). I was told by the dentist that I should get a root canal treatment done again as the tooth was infected. I didn't get that done as I felt that having a dead tooth in my mouth is detrimental to your overall health. So that's why the tooth was extracted instead. On the surface the tooth looked fine but once extracted (tooth chipped as the dentist removed it) the tooth was black inside. Based on my experiences, I do agree with you that it is about the $$$. And now with dental implants, there's the risk of infection and factors leading to failure such as the body's rejection of the implant. Either way, not liking the idea of placing something unnatural into my body. Occasionally, I think about the possibilities of teeth shifting and jaw bone loss and it does make me wonder if I should get an implant or not. The empty space where my first molar used to be is a reminder that we should really treat our teeth as gold. Prevention is better than "treatment".
@Lil93 I'm glad my post was useful to you!