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Do I need to replace my back molars?

A smiling older man with glasses

For some people, the number one concern when losing a tooth is how the gap in their smile will affect their overall appearance. When the missing tooth is a molar in the back of their mouth, they think, “Why do I need to replace this tooth if nobody can see it?” But negative side effects can stem from not replacing a back molar. Back molars are important teeth for oral function and health.

Protect bone density at the back of your jaw

The function of molars is to grind food. While your molars are grinding, the roots of these teeth stimulate the jawbone underneath to grow new bone tissue to keep your jaw strong and healthy. If one or more molars are missing, you may not only have trouble chewing certain foods but you may also be setting the stage for bone deterioration over time.

Keep your smile straight

Back molars play an important role in anchoring the position of the rest of the teeth in your mouth. If one or more is missing, remaining teeth could slowly drift, causing teeth to become crooked or out of place. Crooked teeth not only impact your appearance but can also lead to difficulties in cleaning and other oral health issues.

Retain facial symmetry

As the largest teeth in your mouth, your molars play a significant role in the shape of your face. If you are missing back molars on one side of your mouth but not the other, this could affect facial symmetry.

Dental implants prevent fallout from missing teeth

Replacing back molars with dental implants will protect your jawbone, hold the rest of your teeth in place and prevent any changes in your face shape, all while making it possible to grind and chew your favorite foods. Dental implants return patients to full oral function once the healing process is complete.