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Sometimes a patient has a toothache and they just want me to ‘take it out.’ Believe me, it’s not a problem for me to remove it, but there are usually consequences to doing so. For instance, let’s start with the loss of a lower 1st molar tooth. This is the 2nd to last tooth in your lower jaw, assuming that your wisdom teeth (or third molars) are not present.
The general rule is that teeth like to contact other teeth. A lower 1st molar wants to contact an upper 1st molar. As well, the lower 1st molar wants to contact both the tooth in front of it and behind it. When a tooth (and the example we’re using is a lower 1st molar) is removed, the following may result:
1. The tooth above it may move down.
2. The tooth behind it moves forward.
3. The tooth in front of it moves backwards.
Basically, the teeth move and try to fill in the space of the missing tooth. They move because nothing is stopping them from moving. It can turn in to a bit of a domino effect, but is very slow to occur and very gradual, often taking many years to reach their final location. What ultimately happens is that there is collapse of the patients bite involving their back teeth. The consequences of a collapsed bite can vary:
1. Problems in the T.M.J (Temporomandibular joint) area. This is the joint in front of the ear, where the jaw meets the skull.
2. Tooth decay.
3. Problems with the gums and bones i.e., the foundation that holds the teeth in
(see blog # 2).
4. General tooth movement, which leads to a malocclusion (or misaligned teeth).
5. Sores at the corners of your mouth.
Put simply, removing a tooth may seem like a quick and easy fix, but the long term effects can end up being quite troublesome for the patient (as outlined in the points above). So if you’re thinking of taking a tooth out, you may want to re-think this because once it’s out, there’s no going back.
P.S. I feel that sometimes you have to take a few steps backwards before moving forwards…and not only with respect to your teeth, but also in life.
Are you looking for a Brampton Dentist? If so, call us today at (905)-791-3867.
We welcome new patients, walk-ins and dental emergencies.
Dr. Robert Axelrad (Brampton’s Gentle Dentist)