A dental implant is a surgical procedure that replaces the root of a missing tooth. It can be used to replace one or more teeth and is usually made of titanium metal. The implant will fuse with the jawbone over time, acting as an anchor for the replacement tooth. This blog post discusses whether an implant can replace a bad molar.
What is a Bad Molar?
A molar is a type of tooth that’s near the back of your mouth. It has ridges on its chewing surface and can be used to crush food. A bad molar is a tooth that has had severe decay or other damage. It can’t be saved by treatment and must be extracted, leaving a space in the mouth.
Know the Symptoms of a Bad Molar
Signs of a bad molar include:
- Pain: There is a pain in the tooth, and it is not easy to chew food
- Discoloration: The color of the front surface of a bad molar will be yellow, brown, or black. This means that decay has eaten away at the enamel.
- Excessive tartar on the molar: On healthy teeth, there should only be some plaque buildup with no tartar. Tartar is a mineral deposit that can be difficult to remove.
- Pain while eating: You feel pain during the process of chewing food. It’s important not to ignore this symptom because it could lead to infection.
- Sensitivity to hot and cold foods: If you notice that the front surface of your molar is sensitive to hot and cold food, you should visit a dentist.
- Toothache: A bad molar can also cause a toothache.
- Pus coming from the gum line or swelling around the area.
- If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, it could mean that your teeth are infected or damaged and need to be extracted.
Reasons for Replacing a Bad Molar
Prevent further damage: A bad molar can lead to further decay if it’s not extracted. It may also have a higher risk of fracture, leading to the need for a root canal treatment or tooth extraction.
Bad molar may cause gum disease or cavities, which occurs when harmful bacteria from plaque buildup in dentin under enamel; both lead to oral health issues like pain, tooth loss, bone deterioration around the jawbone, and more.
Save other teeth: If a bad molar is removed, there’s less chance of further damage to other teeth in the mouth.
Improve chewing ability: A bad molar can change how you chew food, leading to bad oral health habits like using your front teeth for chewing instead of back teeth. This could lead to more dental work down the road!
Can a Dental Implant Replace a Molar?
Molars are the most complex type of tooth to replace because they’re often in the back part of your mouth and have multiple roots. Dental implants are one of the best options to replace bad molars due to it strong titanium posts that integrate with the jaw bone. A molar typically has at least 2-3 roots used to hold it in place and give you biting power on that side of your mouth. Although a dental implant has a single titanium post or “peg”, it is more than capable of handling any biting force. But, if there’s not enough bone for the implant, it won’t fuse properly and will need revision surgery.
It may also take a few months or more before an implant fuses with the jawbone and stops moving around in your mouth. This can lead to problems like food getting stuck on the titanium metal posts used to hold implants in place.But, once it has successfully integrated with the bone, it will feel very similar to a natural tooth. Successful dental implants require high-quality bone for proper support and healing, so your dentist can help you determine if this is the right option for your needs. If you qualify for a dental implant, this is a great choice in replacing a bad molar.
Other Ways to Replace a Bad Molar
If you don’t qualify for a dental implant, there are other ways to do it besides using an implant. Your dentist could perform a root canal treatment on the tooth and then place crowns or bridges covering the tooth’s surface. They might also recommend removing your teeth and replacing them with dentures or partials that will replace missing chewing surfaces in your mouth.
Ways you can protect yourself from having to get your molar replaced in the future
The best way to avoid needing a bad molar replaced include:
- Maintain good oral health habits – Brush and floss your teeth regularly. Regular cleanings are important because they remove tartar buildup around teeth, leading to more problems like gum disease or even bone loss due to lack of calcium intake from saliva when food is not being adequately chewed on back (molar) teeth.
- Visit the dentist regularly – Your molar might be fine today, but it could have a problem tomorrow if you don’t go in for regular checkups with your dental provider. Regular dental exams can catch signs of decay or other issues early before it becomes worse.
- Quit smoking – Smoking is linked to gum disease and other oral health issues leading to tooth loss. It also leads to decreased bone density, which means there’s less for an implant or root canal treatment to hold on to when you need it replaced in the future.
- Avoid eating sugary food products – Sugary foods like candy bars increases the risk of cavities and may increase the risk of broken molars from biting into hard candy. Avoid them.
- Eat healthy foods – Instead of sugary and hard foods, eat healthy products that are less likely to break your molar teeth.
- Drink plenty of water – Hydration is key to keeping your mouth and teeth healthy. Water helps keep your saliva flowing, which can prevent the accumulation of bacteria that cause bad breath or tooth decay in the first place.
Dental implants are a great way for people who have missing or damaged teeth and want to replace them with an artificial tooth root that looks natural and feels like their own. Consult your dentist to help you determine the right treatment for your needs.