I have a back left first molar that has an infection. My choices are a root canal treatment or an extraction and replacement. My dentist says if I replace it, I really need to get a dental implant there because there is no molar behind it. I am wondering if there is a cheaper replacement, such as a snap on smile type of thing that can cover the area.
If you do not have a tooth behind your first molar it means you have also lost your second molar. Without either of those teeth, you will have not way to chew. As I don’t think you are looking forward to a life with a liquid diet, you will need some type of teeth back there.
A snap-on smile is more of a temporary cosmetic solution if you need a quick fix for something like a job interview or a school reunion but do not have enough money for a permanent cosmetic procedure. This will not replace your teeth and will not be a solution on your situation.
The cheapest tooth replacement option will be a removable partial denture. However, this also would not work in your case. With any removable option, you need some teeth to anchor it to on both sides. You only have teeth on one side. It would be a bit like trying to eat on the left side of a table like the one pictured above. That is not going to work out well for you.
Your only two viable options are what your dentist suggested. Either get a root canal treatment or extract it and replace it with a dental implant. To me, the root canal treatment makes more sense. It is less expensive and you still have a natural tooth.
I hope this helps. This blog is brought to you by Decatur, AL Dentists Drs. Drake and Wallace.