The Cosmetic Dentistry Blog

September 13, 2010

Do I need to save my second molar?

Filed under: Extractions — Tags: — iowasmiles @ 4:00 am

What’s so bad about wanting to have a back molar extracted rather than go to the expense of a root canal, a crown, and a possible second root canal if the first one should fail. It’s the last molar in the back, and my teeth are somewhat too crowded on that side of my mouth anyway. So, why do dentists always want to save a tooth instead. I’d just rather have it extracted and be done with it and have no future problems with that tooth. Your opinion, please?
- Monica

Monica
If you’re going to lose a tooth, the one that will cause you the least complications is the last molar. In most people, that will be the second molar. There is no tooth behind it to tip forward if that tooth is missing. If it’s a lower last molar, you will probably also end up losing the upper molar, because it will now have no opposing tooth and will drift down until it starts to bite on the gum, but that will be the extent of your problems. And if you have all your premolars and front teeth, you can get along okay with just first molars and no second molars – that is enough teeth to chew on adequately.

Having said that, I believe it’s always best to save a second molar. It can come in handy especially if you later lose a first molar. And it will reduce your chewing efficiency. But I can understand if your finances are limited that you may not want to put that much money into it. And the chances of the root canal failing shouldn’t be that great if the root canal treatment is done well. Maybe 5% would fail.

But a first molar, on the other hand – if you lose that your entire bite on that side of your mouth will be disrupted because everything will tip into that space.

I hope this is helpful.

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