Missing back tooth options

While missing molars (rear teeth) can be easy to ignore, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get them replaced. Here are your options.

We would never recommend ignoring a missing back tooth

Ignoring gaps in the mouth, even if they’re out of sight, can have drastic consequences on your oral health and cause the bite and rest of your teeth to experience problems later in life if you don’t act fast in the initial stages. Bone loss, which can occur in as little as six months, might not sound serious now, but it can lead to future tooth loss and facial sagging if the right steps are not taken to preserve it. Don’t make a decision now that you might regret later.

dental implant offer

Back Tooth treatment considerations

It doesn’t matter how you lost your tooth, or whether it’s in the front or rear, the most important aspect is the type of treatment you choose to close the gap. 

For example, the type of restoration you choose will be essential for preserving and maintaining the integrity of your oral health.

Opting for traditional methods using dentures or bridgework might conceal the gap and help save you a penny, but sadly, it does nothing to preserve bone in the jaw and can cause gum shrinkage and further tooth loss over time. 

And whilst this might not be a major concern for you right now, it might limit your options later in life if you do decide to opt for better treatments like dental implants.

In reality, traditional treatments are not that much cheaper than modern, advanced types like dental implants. 

In the end, you’ll really only save a thousand pound initially and will spend a lot more over your lifetime, replacing and repairing them.

Recommended Missing Back Tooth Treatments

dental implant diagram

Dental Implants

  • Costs £2,550 - Financeable
  • 3 months from start to finish
  • Lasts up to 30 years
The best long-term option for all patients, dental implants are the closest replica to a functioning, natural tooth. The implant is fixed and will not move. Plus, it won't decay like natural teeth. The procedure does not involve cutting adjacent teeth, which means they can stay healthy. Dental implants can also be combined with bridges to replace multiple missing teeth in a row in one sitting.

denture clean

Partial Dentures

  • Costs from £750 - Financeable
  • 3 weeks from start to finish
  • Lasts from 5 to 10 years
Partial dentures either rely on metal clasps or suction to stay in place, and thus are removable devices to replace tooth loss. The lowest-cost option, dentures do require replacing every few years as the bone in jaw depletes and gums shrink, which means impressions will need to be taken every few years for a better fit. Other downsides include movement when eating and speaking.

dental bridge image

Fixed dental bridge

  • Costs from £1,200 - Financeable
  • 2-3 weeks from start to finish
  • Lasts from 5 to 15 years
A dental bridge relies on two available adjacent teeth. Dentists are trying to move away from this option as the two adjacent teeth require cutting and filing to be fitted with crowns, which causes unnecessary damage to healthy teeth. The fabrication of a dental bridge is often expensive, and there is a greater risk of decay and bone loss. Bear in mind that bridges have also be known to come lose.

Should you replace a missing molar?

It’s generally recommended to replace any missing teeth. If you have more than one missing tooth, for example, two in a row, replacing the tooth root to preserve bone in the area becomes even more important. 

When there’s a missing tooth in the back of the mouth, you lose essential support for your face and cheeks and the biting force is no longer distributed evenly, putting pressure on your remaining teeth.

If you notice that teeth are beginning to move into the open space or your gums are swelling and becoming irritated, you’re beginning to experience the negative changes of tooth loss.

 A dental professional should be involved to help you manage the effects.

Treat missing teeth sooner than later

When it comes to replacing a lost tooth, whether it’s an incisor or molar, patients are urged to act quickly to avoid common problems with missing teeth like bone loss. 

For example, if you’ve lost one tooth, you’re likely to lose your adjacent teeth too, and having larger gaps in the mouth might be harder to ignore. 

However, if you’ve lived with missing teeth for some time, you might no longer be a candidate for advanced treatments like dental implants, which need bone to survive and work. 

Therefore, pre-prosthetic procedures like bone grafts and sinus lifts might be required beforehand to ensure your treatment is successful – all of which will be an additional cost and a delay to your final restoration. 

Major UK Credentials

The Perfect Smile Studio and Institute
Dentistry Private Award
PPD Premium Practice Dentistry
Invisalign Platinum Provider
UltraThin Veneers