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A 32-year-old male asked:

If the single back molar at the upper left (or right) pulled, will the teeth below it rise, and could it worse/effect the tmj?

3 doctor answers3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Robert Douglas
Orthodontics 52 years experience
Yes to both: If a tooth is pulled and not replaced and if no other teeth in the opposite arch touch; then the opposing tooth will erupt. The loss of occlusion plus the shifting of the other teeth around the missing one can affect your TMJ. This is why your dentist will advise an implant or bridge to replace the tooth.
Dr. Arnold Malerman
Orthodontics 54 years experience
Probably: Depends on occlusion with teeth in opposing arch. Most often removal of any back tooth with failure to replace can result in problems such as over-eruption, posterior bite collapse, anterior flaring, and joint dysfunction. Proper replacement is exquisitely important and should be done by the best Dentist you can find.
Dr. Theodore Davantzis
Dentistry 41 years experience
Yes and probably: Teeth that do not occlude with other teeth usually super-erupt over time. Malpositioned teeth often cause problems with excursions (moving your jaw side to side or forward), exacerbating TMJ issues.

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Last updated Jan 3, 2017

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