Some people who lose a posterior tooth question whether to replace it. After all, it doesn’t show when you smile and there are other teeth to take over the chewing functions. Why not avoid the expense to replace it and save some money? Actually, there are several critical reasons to replace a back tooth with a tooth implant if possible:
1. The adjacent tooth (or teeth) may start shifting.
If a tooth tips, moves, or rotates, it can influence the bite. The unopposed tooth can also move, though it generally moves outward from the bone (over-eruption). Teeth that are displaced can become more vulnerable to gum disease, decay, or TMJ pain.
2. The underlying bone will eventually loosen.
Without the tooth root, the jaw bone recedes. This changes the contours of the face and gives it a sunk-in look due to a decrease in supporting bone. The vertical shortening proceeds and becomes more pronounced as you get older.
3. There will be additional stress on the teeth that take over the chewing functions.
This can lead to excessive wear, fracture, or pain.