Lack of Posterior Dentition

It is not uncommon for people to have concerns about the health of their anterior teeth due to concerns of esthetics and a beautiful smile. Equally as important are posterior teeth, which play an important role in chewing, grinding, and crushing food. Anterior teeth are designed for biting and tearing, and are unable to handle the stress of chewing.

The lack of posterior teeth may have many negative consequences on the oral health of an individual. Posterior teeth support the vertical height of the face, and may lead to a posterior bite collapse if missing. The missing of posterior teeth can also lead to the drifting, flaring, or extrusion of remaining dentition. Speech impairment and temporal mandibular disorders can also be a consequence. In addition, unnecessary stress is placed on the remaining dentition, and can lead to fractures or breakage.

Ideally, the best treatment for replacing missing posterior teeth is an implant, which have the greatest long-term prognosis. Bridges or partial dentures may also be used to restore missing teeth. Each method of replacing missing dentition is based on a patient-by-patient case. Please consult with your dentist for available treatment options best suited for your needs.

by Dr. O. Karnakova, DDS

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