Most of us have had to deal with wisdom teeth coming in and causing some issues for our dental health whether they are impacted or just cause our other teeth to crowd. The answer to this problem is pretty simple, we just get them extracted and move on with our lives. Yet, have you ever stopped to consider exactly how many molars we need to survive? Most of us develop a full set of 12 molars, four wisdom teeth, four second molars, and four first molars. Given that is is typical for seniors to lose a few teeth, how many of these molars must be replaced?
How Many Teeth Do People Have?
People develop a certain amount of teeth, and these have to last them their entire life. Our first set of teeth, which usually comes in by age two, consists of 20 teeth. These are called baby teeth, milk teeth, primary teeth, or even deciduous teeth, because we are supposed to lose them.
Our second set of teeth, called the permanent teeth, then develops in several phases. The first 28 should have come in by age 12 or 13. This includes eight molars, two at each end of each arch. Our third molars, what we call wisdom teeth, usually come in during our late teens or early 20s, although if they are impacted, they might never fully come in. In the end, we should have 32 teeth. However, most people have their wisdom teeth removed, making a full set of healthy teeth 28.
Statistically, American adults age 20-64 have an average of 25 teeth, with about 3.8% having no teeth at all.
Do We Need All These Molars?
The issue is, it is difficult to say how much we need these molars on a general basis. People tend to get their front teeth replaced right away for aesthetic reasons. People simply want to grow old and still have perfect white teeth. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that, but many people are less eager to replace a loss when it comes to their molars. This is probably because people really don’t see them, unless you are at the dentist or specifically asking someone to look into your mouth.
It is important to note, however, that once one tooth is missing, it can cause a whole string of issues for your jaw and the teeth around it. Teeth are integral for the development of bone in your jaw. If you have teeth that are missing, your jaw will become less stimulated and your body will begin to break down the bone in that area. This will leave you will an aged, sunken appearance that is typically of people using poorly fitting or worn down dentures. Additionally, any teeth nearby that vacant spot are at a higher risk of infection and decay because food and bacteria will tend to collect there.
Consult A Dentist
There are plenty of options out there if you are missing one or more teeth. Dental implants are actually anchored to your jaw and can function much like your natural teeth do.
If you are simply too afraid to come to the dentist many practices, including Contemporary Dentistry, PLLC, offer sedation dentistry, which can help make your experience at the dentist much more relaxing. If you live in the Rochester area and would like to visit with Drs. Arlene Messer and Anna Belous please give us a call at (585) 244-3337.