Should Lower Second Molars Routinely Be Replaced with Implants?

Should Lower Second Molars Routinely Be Replaced with Implants?

Doctor Answers 11

Replacing lost second molars with implants

Some oral surgeons and dentists do not usually replace lost second molars with implants. This could be for a variety of reasons, but in general, if you have a single missing tooth, it's best to replace it as soon as possible. I have often done implant cases involving second molars and it's a great service if you need it.

Cleveland Dentist
4.8 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Should missing second molars be replaced with implants

I do not routinely replace second molars with implants.  Most patients will do fine with first molar occlusion.  This being said, it's really up to your individual situation and your preference.  Your dentist can assess your situation and provide you with the risks and benefits unique to your mouth.

Ramon Peleaux, DDS, MD
Charlotte Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Second lower molar dental implant replacement

No. There is no reason to routinely replace a second lower molar. First molar bite/occlusion is perfectly acceptable especially If there is no UPPER second molar to bite against. However, having said that, your dentist or specialist will assess your bite to customize a treatment plan to suit your personal needs. 

Herbert Veisman, DDS
Toronto Periodontist
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Second molars should be replaced with implants.

Unless you are elderly, you should consider replacing your lost second molar with an implant.  It will help to have it there when you lose your first molar, which will happen more quicly if your second is missing and not replaced.

Steve Alper, DMD
New York Dentist
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

Repalcing Second Molars With Dental Implants

For Most people , second molars are functional teeth and are an important part of effective chewing.  Loss of second molars results in bone and tissue loss if not replaced which ultimately may casue problems with the first molars.  Also if they are not replaced and have an opposing tooth above or below, that tooth will erupt farther becasue there is no contact and that tooth will need to be removed over time.  That being said, if there is no opposing tooth then there is no real need to replace the tooth with an implant.  Also sometimes there is very little room to work in the second molar area and getting the necessary instruments to place an implant in this area safely may not be possible, this is another reason not to replace it.

Brian Dorfman, MD, DMD
Phoenix Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Pick your choice for replacing missing tooth

If for some reason you have lost the lower second molar, replacing it can be a tricky question. One thing I would like to recommend is that you need to replace any missing tooth to prevent the movement of the adjacent and opposing teeth into the empty space. As a law of nature when you loose a tooth, the surrounding teeth will try to fill in the space. The first option to replace the tooth is by an implant as it does not involve grinding down other teeth for support and it is permanent. The second option is a bridge if you have a strong and good third molar for support. The third option is a removable partial denture. The last but not the least is to put a cantilever bridge  but only after very careful evalution of the adjacent teeth and gums.Hope this helps answer your question.

Dalvir Pannu, DDS
San Jose Dentist

Replacement of second molars with dental implants

Second molars are functional teeth and important in efficient chewing. I think it is always important to replace the second molars for the following reasons:

  1. Maintain chewing function
  2. Preserve the bone
  3. Prevent shifting of opposing teeth downward

If a patient does not have the opposing tooth, then replacement of the second molar only makes sense if the opposing tooth is replaced also. Having said that, where both the upper and lower second molars are missing, it may be ok to leave it, as  patients may function well with their first molars.

H. Ryan Kazemi, DMD
Bethesda Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

There's nothing routine about implants

Its not routine to have tooth loss and to need implants but We do place implants into those areas and they work very well. Should not be a problem for you if you need an implant in the second molar area.

Michael J. Thomas, DDS
Los Angeles Dentist
3.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Implants to Replace Molars: When Should Implants Be Used?

Implants are usually the best option for replacing missing teeth.  When a tooth is missing, it usually results in a space between two teeth.  When this type of space exists, the tooth behind the space has a tendency to tip or fall into the space.  Sometimes (especially if the missing tooth is a lower tooth) the space will cause the opposing tooth (the tooth that chews against the space) to erupt.  The space creates bite instability, and oftentimes a periodontal (gum) problem.  Left untreated, this can wreak havoc on the rest of your teeth as time goes on.

If the missing tooth is the very last tooth in the arch (2nd molar -- if the wisdom teeth are gone), then a space has net been created between teeth.  If it is a lower 2nd molar, then the upper 2nd molar may continue to erupt into the lower space causing trouble.  If the missing tooth is an upper 2nd molar, then there may not be any resulting problem caused by the space.

As a general rule, here is how/when I recommend implant treatment:

1.  Any missing teeth in front of the 2nd molars:  Replace the tooth - restore the space (usually with implant)

2.  Lower 2nd molar missing:  Pt's choice - replace with implant or leave as space.  If left alone and upper 2nd molar begins to erupt, revisit treatment options (no treatment, implant replacement, or no implant and extract erupting upper 2nd molar if all other teeth in dentition are healthy in every way)

3.  Upper 2nd molar missing:   Pt's choice - replace with implant or leave as space.  If left alone and lower 2nd molar begins to erupt, revisit treatment options.

Susan Goode Estep, DMD
Atlanta Dentist
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

Depends on you

Do you miss the tooth?  Do you have a tooth opposing it?  In general it is a good idea to replace missing teeth with implants.

Kathy Frazar, DDS, FAGD
Houston Dentist
4.6 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.