In Oral Health

Taking Care Of Your Molars

Taking care of your molars requires learning a little bit about tooth anatomy. Most people have two sets of teeth in their lifetime, a set of primary “baby” teeth and the permanent “adult’ teeth. As children you have 20 primary teeth, holding spots for 32 permanent teeth. As a child, the primary molars help you chew and pronounce words. Sometime between the ages of 6 – 7 years old, the “extra set” of molars erupt through the gums and take their place in the mouth. The molars are very important in helping determine the shape of the face and influencing the location and well-being of the other permanent teeth.


Molar Facts:

Most children have 28 of their permanent teeth by age 13 years. These include four central incisors, four lateral incisors, eight premolars, four canines, and eight molars.

The molar is a wide, flat tooth in the back of your mouth. The molars grind food during checking. The molars in the top jaw have 3 roots; molars in the lower jaw have 2 roots. As adults, we have 6 molars in the top jaw and 6 in the bottom jaw.


Replacing a Missing Molar

Do you need to get an implant to replace a missing tooth that is in the back of your mouth that no one will ever notice? As you have learned the molars are the first permanent teeth to erupt and unfortunately, often the first ones to be lost due to tooth decay or fracture.

What is at stake:

  • Remaining teeth, gums, ligaments, joints, and jaw muscles are affected.
  • The chewing burden is now shifted to other teeth.
  • Bone loss sets in, affecting the shape of your face, and wrinkles form.
  • The chin begins to move forward

What happens if you don’t replace a missing molar:

The absence of tooth roots below the gumline sets into motion an often unusual chain of events:

Your jawbone will start losing its natural shape

Each prong of tooth root contains a chamber that holds tissues made up of blood vessels, nerves, and connective fibers. Their job is too keep the tooth ‘alive’ and nourish the jaw bone. Without roots, the jaw bone will begin to lose its mass and begin a process known as ‘resorption’.

Increased risk of cavities, gum disease, and tooth breaks or fractures

As your jaw bone loses mass, the neighboring teeth will become vulnerable. Statistics show that when a tooth is missing, the next one you are mostly to lose is the one adjacent. You will begin to chew differently and to overuse your healthy teeth, which will lead to fractures.

Your quality of life will gradually deteriorate too

Jawbone decay changes your appearance, making you look older than you are, which can erode your self-confidence. If teeth drift, your bite changes. Often people find it challenging to chew specific foods, which can lead to unhealthy eating habits.

Molar Replacement Options

There are several good ways of replacing a missing back molar, though all of them can have their pros and cons. Your dentist will recommend the best molar replacement option depending on your unique situation, so schedule your visit to the specialist as soon as possible.

A missing molar is typically replaced using one of the following methods:

Replacing a missing back molar with a dental bridge

There are four types of dental bridges. Today we will focus on the most popular dental bridge, the traditional. This type of bridge consists of one or more poetics ( fake teeth) and are held in place by dental crowns. The crowns are cemented on the teeth adjacent to your missing tooth. The downside of traditional bridges is that your dentist is required to prepare the neighboring teeth by removing their enamel to create space for the crowns that will be cemented on top.

Replacing a missing molar with a dental implant

A more effective alternative for replacing a back molar or any missing tooth is a dental implant. If you are in good overall health, have healthy gums and have adequate bone in the jaw to sustain the implant, then this might be the best option for you.

A dental implant is an artificial root made from titanium metal. The titanium root is inserted into the jawbone to replace the root of the natural tooth. The artificial tooth is then connected to the implant. Most people prefer this method because the tooth looks and act like natural teeth. Like natural teeth, you need to keep the area clean using a toothbrush and floss.

Taking Care of Your Teeth And Gums Overview:

You can circumvent most problems with teeth and gums by taking these actions:

  • Brush your teeth twice daily with fluoride toothpaste.
  • Floss between your teeth every day.
  • Schedule regular dental checkups and cleaning.
  • Reduce your intake of sugary foods and drinks.
  • Avoid smoking and chewing tobacco.
  • If you drink alcohol, drink only in moderation.
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