What is a Maryland Dental Bridge?
A Maryland Bridge is one of the four types of dental bridges available. We’ll first address why you might need a dental bridge, run through the four different options and then look at why you might choose to have your dentist fabricate a Maryland Bridge as your solution.
Why would you need a Dental Bridge?
You have looked in the mirror a few times and are disappointed in the smile looking back at you. The smile that now has a gap in your teeth. That gap may have come from an extraction because of a tooth that could not be saved. Or an accident in which the tooth was knocked out. Besides your smile changing you now have to be careful about your neighboring adjoining teeth slowly moving into that gap and changing your bite pattern. You may also have a speech issue that has developed from the missing tooth.
The Different Types of Dental Bridges
The most popular bridge is the Traditional Bridge. This is when the two teeth on each side of the gap are prepped to receive crowns. This means some of your enamel is removed. After an impression is made and sent to a dental lab the artificial tooth, or pontic, is fabricated. The pontic is bonded to the two crowns on the adjoining teeth, which are called abutment teeth. This method is the bridge most common. A Cantilever Bridge is when you only have one abutment tooth to anchor the pontic to. The fourth version is an Implant-Supported Bridge. This is when you have possibly three teeth missing. An implant is placed in the middle gap with two bridges going to each side of it anchoring two pontics to your two natural teeth.
The Maryland Bridge
The Maryland Bridge is most like the Traditional Bridge but considered a conservative option. Your two abutment teeth will not receive crowns so you do not remove enamel from these teeth. Instead the artificial tooth is placed on to a metal framework. The framework will consist of two metal wings. These wings are then bonded to the back side of those adjacent teeth anchoring the pontic. The positive take-away from the Maryland Bridge is the fact that you have not damaged two natural teeth. Sometimes this avenue is taken if an implant is possible in the future.
The second take-away is that this option is more economical than the Traditional Bridge. Your dentist will need to be careful when it comes to matching shades of white with your teeth. Teeth are literally somewhat translucent. So when the wings are bonded on the back side it is possible that these two abutment teeth might look a shade darker. That needs to be taken into consideration when choosing the shade of the pontic. It is also conceivable that the Maryland Bridge may not be a strong as the Traditional Bridge. In either case you won’t be chewing on pencils or biting on ice. The best advice is to schedule a consultation with your dentist and review the pros and cons of your dental bridge options. Make an informed decision together.
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