I had a molar pulled last December. I’ve switched dentists since then, and my new dentist is saying that I should replace the tooth with an implant. I don’t understand why because the space is so far back that people can’t tell the tooth is missing. Do I really need to have it replaced or is the dentist trying to make money off of me? I am afraid that I will have to find another dentist who will do the right thing by me. Thanks. Terrance

Terrance – There is no need to switch dentists. Your dentist is correct. A missing tooth can create other problems. The teeth on either side of the missing one will start to shift. When teeth shift, keeping them clean can become more difficult. And the opposing tooth (upper or lower) will gradually move into the space of the missing tooth and put pressure on your gums.

Your dentist gave you the best recommendation. Dental implants are the best option to replace a missing tooth. Like a natural tooth, the implant has a titanium root form, and a replacement tooth, or crown, is attached to the top of it. Implants are a permanent tooth replacement. It will function like a natural tooth and prevent other teeth from shifting. Dental implants are the most expensive form of tooth replacement.

A dental bridge is another, less expensive, option to replace a missing tooth. But the dental bridge requires the tooth on either side of the missing one to be shaved down and to be covered with a crown. The replacement tooth is suspended between the two crowns.

Regardless of which option you choose, replacing your missing tooth is better for your oral health, and in the long-term, it can save you the expense of dental problems in the future. If you want to increase your comfort level about your dentist’s recommendation, you can consider getting a second opinion.

This post is sponsored by Colorado Springs dentist Dr. Joseph Rota.