“Doc, I Don’t Miss Those Back Teeth”

I take out a lot of teeth. Some patients plan on getting them replaced and some don’t. Some originally planned on getting an implant or bridge after they healed up but have now grown accustomed to living with the space. Chewing on one becomes second nature. is site down And hey, they can use that money towards vacation or Christmas gifts or something fun. But long term, are they saving money?

blog02Your mouth was designed to have 28 teeth. When one is gone, the chewing force gets spread to 27 teeth. You lose another one and now there’s only 26 teeth to take that force…and on and on.   The remaining teeth don’t like that. They eventually start to break. That means crowns. Or if you continue taking them out, that means plastic teeth (a denture).

Many times, patients aren’t motivated to do something until a front tooth breaks. Now we have a problem that doesn’t have a simple solution. Your front teeth weren’t designed to chew with. In order to keep them from breaking again we need to replace the back teeth. We can do that with implants, bridgework or partial dentures. Most of the time, it would’ve been cheaper to just replace those few spaces in the back 5-10 years ago.

Another thing I see is that the patient had insurance benefits when we took the teeth out.   But they waited on replacing the teeth. Then they lost their dental coverage for some reason (for example, they retired).   Now they have to pay 100% for treatment to get their teeth back as opposed to someone picking up half the bill.

Bottom line- living with missing teeth is a gamble and it’s unpredictable when the next ones will break (hint: it’s almost always while you’re on vacation). If you can keep as many back teeth as possible, your front teeth will thank you.