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Dental implant or gap in my mouth?

50 replies

ferntwist · 29/08/2018 21:04

Help - my crown has failed and the dentist says there is nothing that can be done to save my tooth. My choice is either to have the tooth removed and have a gap or save up a terrifying £3,000 for a dental implant. It's the second tooth from the back on the bottom. What would you do?

OP posts:
BabyTeeth · 29/08/2018 21:08


RhubarbAndCustards · 29/08/2018 21:10

I had this - third from back (including wisdom tooth) needed an extraction after a failed root canal. I was adamant that I would have an implant and went through the process of having all the root removed to do so. However the gap doesn’t bother me at all, nor is it noticeable and so I’ve left it. My wisdom teeth coming through at the grand old age of 40-something have also closed the gap a little.

Knittedfairies · 29/08/2018 21:10

I’ve got a gap, second tooth from the back but at the top. My dentist had the same! He said it would be unlikely to bother me and wouldn’t be seen, and he was right. £3000 for an implant would take a lot of thinking about...

MsSquiz · 29/08/2018 21:11

I have gaps from teeth taken out by an over zealous dentist when I was younger (he was a sadist and knew I was terrified so did as he pleased) mine are my top teeth 2nd from back on the left and 2nd and 3rd from the back on the right. And I am currently talking to a lovely dentist who is drawing up a treatment plan to cover everything from bridge to implants of all various prices so I can decide what would work best.

I've found that because of wear my gaps are, I chew food on the next teeth going forward, which has weakened them significantly.

I would find a good dentist that does all different dentistry who can work out the best treatment plan for you. A good dentist won't just recommend implants for the cost

littlecabbage · 29/08/2018 21:12

Smile in the mirror - is that tooth usually visible? If not, definitely choose gap, unless you are loaded!

Verveine · 29/08/2018 21:12

Yes, gap. I have a gap in the same place and it's completely unnoticeable. It felt a bit strange at first but I don't think about it at all now.

EmmaGrundyForPM · 29/08/2018 21:13

I had to.have my tooth at bottom, second from back, removed. The first 4 or 5 days it felt very odd, but 6 months on it feels fine and there's no way I'd pay to have an implant.

TheDishRanAwayWithTheSpoon · 29/08/2018 21:15

I usually say you can see the first 4 teeth from the middle back (so to the first premolar) and other than that no one will see it. A lower molar is not worth an implant imo as no one will see it, the gap might close up a bit and it's such a common tooth to be missing that I doubt anyone will ever notice.

Judydreamsofhorses · 29/08/2018 21:17

I am also missing this tooth, actually on both sides, at the bottom. Like PP, I was going to get an implant, although my dentist said to leave it alone. She referred me to an implant specialist - at that time there wasn’t a dentist in my surgery who did them, although there now is - and at the consultation he said that while he would happily do the implants, he really didn’t think I needed them, and to go away and have a serious think before I started the process, to leave it six months and see how I felt. I figured that given that he stood to earn thousands from treating me, yet said not to bother, I would be okay with the gaps. I am really grateful he was a decent bloke and didn’t encourage me to press ahead unnecessarily.

ferntwist · 29/08/2018 21:20

Thank you so much, this is very useful. I had no idea so many other people had gaps. I’m pretty sure you can’t see it when I smile, although I think you can when I call out or laugh, but it’s such a huge amount of money that I think I can live with it. Very good to hear the gap might close up a bit.

MsSquiz good luck with your treatment!

OP posts:
Pixie2015 · 29/08/2018 21:20

I had the same and was happy with the gap - the dentist wanted me to get implant so that periodontal ligament didn’t weaken ??? I wasn’t keen so as my teeth are crowded on the bottom went to see orthodontist and trying a brace to fill a little of the gap and give a little more space - ironically brace costing more than implant !

ferntwist · 29/08/2018 21:24

Thanks Pixie, so you’re paying £3,000+ for the braces?

OP posts:
Pixie2015 · 29/08/2018 21:35

Just under my implant quote was £2400 but I was worried incase it would break, fall out or get infected.
Classing the brace as midlife crisis

TheDishRanAwayWithTheSpoon · 29/08/2018 21:41

An implant also doesnt last forever, it will need replacing eventually at the same cost and it will also need lot of care. It could get infected. There's lots of risks and for a tooth that you can't really see I don't think it's worth it.

WoollyMollyMonkey · 29/08/2018 21:48

I had no back teeth on one side and only one (top and one bottom) on the other, till my wisdom teeth came up! (Child of the 60s/70s when they used to whip them all out! ) so I have gaps but you can’t see them. Personally, I’d only get implants if it was a front tooth.

AnnabelleLecter · 30/08/2018 00:38

Have you heard about fibredontics?
Cheaper than implants and quicker, easier procedure from what I hear.
I've not had it personally but you could investigate if you're interested

MissConductUS · 30/08/2018 00:43

The problem with not doing the implant is that if you loose more teeth in the future you have less choice about it as you need a certain number of teeth to chew properly.

I lost two teeth back at the beginning of the year. I'm in the process of getting three implants, one to replace a tooth I lost years ago that used to be just a small gap.

Anywherebuthere · 30/08/2018 00:49

I had a tooth removed, 2nd last at the top. The last tooth then moved naturally and 10 years later the gap is now closed.

Anywherebuthere · 30/08/2018 00:51

Meant to add, I wish I had an implant because the movement of my last tooth and some of the teeth on the other side means I now have slightly bigger gaps between them.

overnightangel · 30/08/2018 00:58

Please dont listen to the terrible advice for. @litecabbage and @Verveine Shock
If you lose a tooth, the ones next to them become weaker, and more likely too fall out , domino effect.
@dishranaway with the spoon it’s about dental health surely not what people can see???

overnightangel · 30/08/2018 00:59

OP, see a specialist and get 2/3 opinions, ignore the mostly shit advice on here of “let your teeth rot”

thefirstmrsdewinter · 30/08/2018 02:28

The second from the back may be fine. I had a gap after extraction of the third tooth from the back (top right) and all food (incl scratchy, pointy and tough food) went up into the gap against my gum. Eating meat was very annoying and I ended up chewing most of my food on the left side.

In the end I started to have problems with a tooth on the left side (an old root canal) and I thought about what it would be like if I had to have it extracted and couldn't chew on either side. An implant takes time so if I needed the second tooth extracted it would have been too late to sort an implant.

The implant was expensive but is now exactly like a natural tooth. I've left a gap on the left (the tooth on the left had to come out) but that feels fine and I can chew normally. Hope that makes sense. Smile


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XingMing · 30/08/2018 08:51

I too had the same gap for several years, and eventually the extra wear damaged the rightmost lower molar. As the adjacent tooth was largely amalgam filling, I went for two crowns and a bridge to complete the normal run about a month ago. Which cost a grand but I think this was a better option than an implant, about which I have heard very bad things.

MissConductUS · 30/08/2018 09:08

but I think this was a better option than an implant, about which I have heard very bad things.

What bad things have you heard about implants @XingMing ?

XingMing · 30/08/2018 09:18

There are some clinics in the UK that were known by dental hospitals for offering inexpensive solutions to complex problems and not doing the work to a good standard. One was fairly close to my DH's place of work.

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