My right bottom first molar is severely infected and decayed. I need a root canal or extraction. But my second molar on that same side is missing. Will a snap-on smile be less expensive while hiding the missing tooth if I get an extraction? – Thank you. Sachi
Thank you for your inquiry. We will discuss the pros and cons of possible treatment options.
Snap-On Smile After Tooth Extraction?
A Snap-on Smile is the worst option for concealing a missing tooth after extraction. Its purpose is to make your smile look a little better for a special occasion, but it does not look good. And it is not strong enough to function as a tooth replacement for a molar. If you wear a Snap-On Smile daily, it will wear out quickly.
Effects of Extracting a First Molar When the Second Is Missing
You mention that you already lost your second molar. If your dentist extracts the first molar, you will have no molars on the right side.
- Chewing – How will you chew without molar teeth unless you stick to a soft diet?
- Unstable oral appliance – Without a tooth behind your first molar, even a partial denture will not be stable because it needs to clasp to adjacent teeth for stability. It’s like a table with legs only in the middle and one end. The weight of the table will make it fall toward the end that has no support. An oral appliance will add twisting force to the supporting teeth and weaken them.
- Tooth loss – Early tooth loss will cause your teeth to shift. And although orthodontic treatment would realign your teeth, you would also need dental implants with so many missing teeth.
Root Canal Treatment to Save a First Molar
Root canal treatment saves your natural tooth, avoids an uncomfortable oral appliance that will not have enough support, and saves the expense of extraction and a dental implant.
Ultimately, a dentist will examine and x-ray your teeth before explaining your treatment options. But if saving your natural tooth is an option, we recommend that you go for it.
Rekha Reddy, DDS, of Dallas, TX, sponsors this post.