Will Teeth Shift after Molar Extraction?

Molars are the largest teeth in your mouth. They are the primary chewers and placeholders in your smile, but they’re subject to damage just like any other teeth. Whether you need a molar extraction to prepare for braces or remove an unsalvageable tooth, your teeth may shift after extraction. The tips below will help you prevent teeth shifting or address teeth that have already shifted.

Smile Changes after Molar Extraction

Any time you have a tooth extracted, your remaining teeth are liable to shift. Your teeth have more room to move around, and they’re going to take advantage of it. There are preventative steps to avoid this issue, as we will discuss in the next section. As a general rule, teeth will move around if there is free space to fill.

Teeth shifting is particularly common after molar extraction because molars are so large. There is a larger gap in your smile for other teeth to move into. Shifting can even occur after third molar extraction, aka wisdom teeth removal. Your dentist will talk to you about these changes and steps you can take to avoid them.

Why You Shouldn’t Want Your Teeth to Shift

You may be wondering, “What’s the big deal if my teeth shift? I don’t care if my smile looks different.” The changes go far beyond aesthetics though. Teeth alignment impacts your ability to chew and speak. If your teeth are misaligned, they can cause earaches, headaches, gum recession and TMJ facial pain. Misalignment can even change the structure of your face, just like braces can. With the right preventative steps, you can avoid the side effects of teeth shifting.

How to Prevent Teeth Shifting after Extraction

The reason for your molar extraction will determine which preventative method is the best choice. If the extraction is in preparation for braces, your orthodontist is most likely making room for overcrowded teeth. The braces will gradually shift other teeth where your molar used to be, and you won’t have to worry about adverse side effects.

If you are getting a molar extraction for other reasons, you will need a spacer or replacement tooth to prevent teeth shifting. The ideal option for replacing a single tooth is to get a dental implant with a crown. The dental implant acts as a placeholder for your missing tooth roots, and it secures the crown directly to the jawbone. You could also get a dental bridge to span the gap and prevent shifting, but you run the risk of tooth decay and gum recession later on. Your dentist can discuss these options to find the best solution for your smile.

What to Do If Your Teeth Have Already Shifted

If you’ve already experienced teeth shifting after molar extraction, you could get braces or clear aligners to move your teeth back into their proper placement. If the shifting is not severe yet, you may be able to get a dental implant with a crown to prevent further movement. Once again, your dentist can evaluate these options during an oral exam.

Clinton Dental Center offers molar extractions, preventative dentistry, implant dentistry, and a range of other services. Our family dentist office in Chesterfield MI is a comfortable environment for clients of all ages. To schedule a consultation for you or your child, contact us at (586) 949-5363. We look forward to helping you reach your smile goals.