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Question about tooth extraction!



Junior member
Feb 5, 2013

My first upper left molar (number 14) has to be extracted. I've not got my wisdom teeth so that means one molar will remain just behind it. I've got all the rest of my teeth intact fortunately! It's being extracted because it has cracked, virtually in two. I've got a temporary filling in it at the moment whilst I decide what to do, but the dentist says this is a short-term solution and it will keep getting infected.

The options are a bridge or an implant, or, of course, live without the tooth. I don't like the idea of a bridge, an implant sounds a much more sound solution, and of course the most expensive option. Around £3,000! No way can I afford that, at least not presently.

When I mentioned this to a friend he said, "Oh, I've got three missing molars and get on fine, no problem! You get used to it!" I find that hard to believe I guess! Anyway what I'm wondering is WOULD I get used to it? Like not even notice it's not there after a while? Or will it always feel weird and will I always be fiddling with it? Are there other downsides to not replacing it? How long can I wait before I decide? I'm 53 years old by the way, which might have some bearing on the answer!

Also my dentist assures me that the extraction won't hurt. Is that true? I've never had anything quite as dramatic as this done at the dentist so I'm a bit worried.

I'd be grateful for any advice, thanks!!!!
Hello Francesca :welcome:to the forum.

The tooth been taken out will not hurt, you will be completely numb. He will ask you before he starts if you feel numb, if you are not sure ask him to test the area. A good sign to go by is if the side where the tooth is to be removed, if your lip on that side feels numb, you are good to go.

You can decide at a later date whether or not to do anything with the gap left by the tooth being removed.

Good luck :clover::clover::clover: It will be totally pain free and over in minutes if not quicker. It will take longer waiting for you to numb up. :)
Thanks for that! Feeling less worried already about the extraction. I'd love to hear from anyone who has a gap from an extraction and if they've found it a problem at all or if they just got used to it? I need to look into implants more I think as I've heard that they can go terribly wrong sometimes too.
Hi I do have a gap where I had a tooth removed just over a year ago. It doesn't effect what I can eat, but sometimes if I have crisps they can make the gum feel sore. It annoys the hell out of me because I hate the fact I have a gap but apart from that it is down to personal choice. It won't effect your mouth or how you use it.

I have no knowledge of implants sorry. Maybe someone that has will be along soon. :butterfly::butterfly::butterfly:
Does it annoy the hell out of you because it's unsightly, or because it feels weird and you want to fiddle with it all the time? I would hope that after a while you forget about it! Maybe not! o_O
From what I have learned, the problems w/ not replacing a tooth are 1) bones loss and 2) other teeth shifting positions.

Obviously, neither of these things occurs immediately, but if there is nothing to hold the space, then your other teeth will begin to shift. Also, the bone loss could be an issue if you decide to try an implant in the future.

I am not a dentist, but this is what I've been told because I need one of my molars extracted eventually.
It's just occurred to me... I'm wondering why they can't just do an individual crown for the one tooth, instead of a bridge or implant. I have to ask. Maybe it's because when a tooth is badly cracked they just have to take it out!
I went a decade between getting a tooth extracted and getting an implant to replace it. The plan that my parents agreed to when the tooth was removed (a primary second molar) ended with an implant. Tooth shifting was reduced by a space maintainer. This left me with a gap a bit wider than the tooth that I lack (a second pre-molar). I did lose bone, but I had just enough left for the implant without grafts.

Getting the implant installed wasn't as bad as I had expected. I had that done under IV sedation. I just sat quietly and observed. My second stage surgery didn't go as smoothly. It was done three months early to deal with a complication (a hole through my gums formed, and I could see the implant's cover screw), without sedation, with no prior notice, and the fire alarm went off half way through. We had to evacuate mid-surgery. It was only while I was stuck outside, waiting for the fire department to let everyone back in that I finally started to calm down.

And now, now that I'm finally used to having the healing abutment in, I have an appointment next week to check on how well integrated my implant is.
It annoys me because it looks terrible and I do fiddle with the gap. :)
Hey :)
The only gap I have in my teeth now is my upper right no 8 or second molar. My wisdom tooth is present. Like Carole said it is a bit annoying if you eat a crisp or something and it pokes into the gum. Other than that I don't have a problem with it.

But this is I believe your first molar? I have just had that one crowned after root treatment. When I do a big wide smile that tooth is visible so I would always want that gap closed with something. Other than that then the disadvantages are what the others have said like bone loss and tooth shifting. But your dentist knows your mouth and will be able to give you a much better answer than we can;).

I have an implant on my lower first molar (lower left 6) and my lower right 5. Yes it costs a lot of money but you don't need to pay for it all in one go. The process takes from 3 months all the way up to a year depending on your circumstances. If I ever need a tooth replaced again and my finances allow it I would go for another implant. There is a failure rate with them - like 2% or so. If you go down this route go with a recommendation (we can help) rather than just picking a name out of the phonebook.

My tooth is visible if I have a right old laugh. It is the UR5 I think I have a few missing but the gaps closed when I was young so it may be number 4. I have my two upper front teeth then two then the gap. It doesn't show when I talk but it still annoys me. I haven't got any other gaps and I don't like it.

Good luck :clover::clover::clover:
Well it's my number 14 so it's not a first molar, but rather the first of the last three, if that makes sense! So it's further back. The more people I talk to the more there seem to be with missing molars! So I'm starting to worry less about the notion of doing without it for a while!
My second stage surgery didn't go as smoothly. It was done three months early to deal with a complication (a hole through my gums formed, and I could see the implant's cover screw), without sedation, with no prior notice, and the fire alarm went off half way through. We had to evacuate mid-surgery. It was only while I was stuck outside, waiting for the fire department to let everyone back in that I finally started to calm down.

Jeez, talk about STRESS! The fire alarm going off while all that is going on! I'd be a wreck for sure...
I have gaps from 4 extractions the second to back upper and lower on both sides, the ages of these gaps are variable the last one 30 months ago, as previous postings only hard items like crisps bother me occasionally but where I have gaps from a while ago it's left space for my teeth to shift and go a bit gappy, this would be where in hindsight (and if i wasn't so phobic and had known all the wonderful advances in dentistry now ) I would have had something to fill the gap. :)
Hi! I've just had a tooth extracted (1st molar, I think!) and have concerns about the gap left. At the moment, I'm just eating soft foods, such as flavoured custards. milkshakes, baby food, etc, but I can't imagine going back on to solid foods and using both sides of my jaw, as I hate the feeling of the gap and the thought of bare gum going against the food (instead of the tooth). I had sausage and mash at a pub yesterday, and the mash was fine, but I found chewing the rest of it, on the opposite side, really tiresome and I gave up. Until I had the tooth removed, I was totally unaware of things like tooth movement, chewing problems, gastro problems, changes in the shape of the face, etc, and I've been in tears tonight, regretting having the tooth out. It did have an infection, but I keep wondering that if the infection had cleared, maybe it wouldn't have reinfected and I could have kept the tooth (which was a bit loose in its socket).

My dentist didn't tell me all these things were going to happen, so I don't really feel I made an informed decision. I only know, now it's too late! I didn't go to a dentist for about 7 years, but ended up going back as a filling fell out about 9 months ago. When I went to make an appt with the surgery (before I had any treatment) I was stood at the reception desk with tears rolling down my face. I get very stressed about going to the dentist, and now this is over, I'd be more than happy not to go for another 7 years, but, from what I've read tonight, I'm probably in for loads more problems, now that tooth has gone. I've been very shocked by what I've just read.

My dentist advised against root canal, as I really hate going (I'd have found it way too stressful, spending so long sat in the chair, enduring treatment), and have to take Propranalol to help keep me calm. I only work three days a week, and so can't afford things like bridges, implants, etc.

In the 7 years I didn't go, I had no problems, but since going back to a dentist 9 months ago, I've had so much pain, anxiety, paid loads out and lost a tooth. The dental infection was a major problem for me, as I'd read about complications if left untreated, then taking the antibiotics caused me more anxiety, as I've always had trouble swallowing pills (I couldn't swallow them, but was also afraid of what would happen if I didn't), and then the extraction itself caused loads of stress, and now I'm stress because of what I've just read!
Mofan please don't be stressed by what you have read, you will get used to the missing tooth. If you don't like it you can always have it filled by a denture or a bridge or something later on when you may be able to afford it.

For me it is pure vanity that my gap annoys me and what makes mine worse for me is that it wasn't my fault I had to have the tooth out. I did seek a dentists help but didn't get it until the tooth broke. So some of my anger at my gap is at the dentist too.

If you are in the uk you can have a bridge done on the nhs for the £209.00 top charge.

If it is getting you down so much could you contact your dentist and see what they could suggest that you could afford, if you are private could you come to some sort of arrangement about payment.

This missing tooth will not effect what you can eat, but I do understand what you mean about the feel of the food when you eat.

The infection would have come back without either a root canal treatment or having it removed. I do think given that choice again you could choose a rct because if it did prove too much for you they can always remove the tooth instead as you are already numb.

I hope you feel better soon, give it a bit more time. :grouphug::grouphug::grouphug::grouphug::grouphug::grouphug::grouphug::grouphug::grouphug::grouphug::grouphug::friends: