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Dentistry/top tooth with no bottom tooth

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Question
I had molar teeth pulled years ago. I had one more bottom pulled than top. My question is: will the top tooth "fall out" without its corresponding bottom tooth? I ask this, because after years of no bottom tooth, the top one doesn't line up with the rest any longer, it sits further down.

Answer
Dear Jen,

You've answered your own question.  The answer for you is "yes".

This happens in about 75% of patients who have lost a tooth.  The tooth that opposes it (chews against it) will slowly elevate out of the gum, looking for a tooth to chew against.   And the teeth that used to be next to it will move into the space that the lost tooth created, in an attempt to close that gap.  There are some people for whom this does not happen.  But you are already noticing the change.

Your unopposed tooth will likely continue to grow out of your gum until it becomes loose from lack of root support.

As dentists, we are taught that all teeth that are lost must be replaced to prevent further tooth loss from this kind of action.  The problem is that replacing missing teeth can seem expensive. So the process of tooth movement for them will continue until all the teeth are lost.

Since you are noticing this movement, it's time to contact your dentist to find out what you can do to correct this, or at least to prevent further tooth loss.

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Howard Finnk, D.D.S., P.A., CEO

Expertise

I am a Family, Implant and Cosmetic dentist. I will answer questions on any aspect of dentistry and matters relating to the smile, gums, jaws and lower face. Member American Dental Association, Florida Dental Association, Broward County Dental Association, and Atlantic Coast District Dental Association. I have served as District Council Member of Alpha Omega, as well as serving for one term as its President. I am also a member of The Vedder Honors Society, Broward Dental Research Clinic, and Mount Sinai Hospital Guild. I have served as a Volunteer for Project Dental Health and The Tri-County Dental Health Council.

Experience

Having attained over 30 years of clinical experience in private practice in Michigan, in 2001 I was re-certified by taking and passing the Florida State Dental Board Examination. After moving to Florida, I spent nearly 10 years re-honing my skills while working as an Associate Dentist for several large dental groups. In September, 2004, I was appointed Adjunct Clinical Professor at Nova University's College of Dental Medicine. I am certified in placement of Mini Dental Implants, and I am Director of The Florida Implant Center (floridaimplantcenter.com). On March 1, 2010, at the age of 62, I began all over again by buying a dental practice near my home in the Fort Lauderdale area. As sole owner and Chief Dental Officer of the new Nob Hill Dental Center (nobhilldentalcenter.com), I can now carefully provide dental care to patients who care, all within a caring, joyful environment. Over my career lifetime, I have provided thousands of diagnoses, fillings, crowns, bridges, root canals, periodontal treatments, TMJ therapies, partials, dentures and extractions, and dozens of implants for my patients. The only aspect of dentistry with which I have very little experience is orthodontics.

Organizations
American Dental Association, Florida Dental Association, Broward County Dental Association, Atlantic Coast District Dental Society, Vedder Honors Society, Broward Dental Research Clinic, Alpha Omega Alumni Association, and American Association of Dental Implantologists. Formerly, American Academy of General Dentistry, Michigan Dental Association, Macomb Dental Society, Detroit District Dental Society, Tri-County Dental Health Council (a charitable dental care organization)

Publications
"How To Save Money At The Dentist" Going to press soon.

Education/Credentials
Bachelor of Arts and Sciences in Psychology from Wayne State University Doctor of Dental Surgery from University of Detroit College of Dentistry Adjunct Clinical Professor, Special Needs Department, Nova Southeastern University College of Dental Medicine, Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Awards and Honors
Membership in The Vedder Honors Society

Past/Present Clients
HIPAA rules do not allow me to post this information.

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