Last Lower Left Molar Extracted: Do I Really Need an Implant?


Renee from Boston asks:

During a retreat of a root canal in my last lower left molar (#17?) it was discovered that the tooth is cracked thru to the bottom and must be extracted. I read the thread on your website discussing implants vs. bridges and it does sound as if a dental implant is preferable BUT in the case of the last tooth, why can't I do neither? What would be the problem if I didn't do a bridge or an implant? Are there any risks?

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Expert Advice and Comments
John Vravick 's picture

Replacing a lost last molar

If you lost tooth #17 because of a fracture, it would depend if you need italic replaced. Normally we do not replace a wisdom tooth with an implant. If you had orthodontic treatment and this tooth was moved into a functional position then it should be replaced. Are you sure that this is tooth #17? The first and second molars are usually replaced to maintain proper stability and function. When these teeth are lost we see a breakdown in the occlusion or bite. You will need to get a consultation regarding the need for replacement of that tooth.

Dr. H. Ryan Kazemi's picture

implant for last lower tooth


Tooth #17 is a wisdom tooth and we don't usually recommend to replace. If you have your second molar (#18) and first molar (#19), and so on, then you are fine. If it is in-fact #18 that you are talking about, then a single implant is ideal for replacement. Bridge is not even possible as there is no tooth behind it to support.

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