For those of you missing back teeth, it is functionally important to replace those teeth whenever possible. Back teeth support your jaw and help maintain the jaw’s vertical height.
As back teeth are lost, more forces tend to get exerted on the teeth closer to the front. As time progresses, the front teeth may begin to chip and break or fracture. This will ultimately lead to further restorative work to fix the front teeth. The teeth in front will also wear faster and become shorter.
In addition, to added forces to the front teeth, people tend to eat and chew where they have more teeth. When this occurs, heavier forces are placed on teeth, that normally would experience a more moderate force. In turn, this can lead to accelerated cracking of other teeth, increased sensitivity and wear as well. Jaw discomfort may even arise with an unbalanced bite.
A balanced bite where people hit equally on both sides should be everyone’s objective. When this is not accomplished, you risk further damage to other teeth. A domino affect of problems will arise as time progresses.
If it is possible, it is always better to replace you missing teeth. The sooner, the better, to avoid further problems and extensive dental work down the road.