Losing a tooth can be a distressing experience, but thankfully, there are various solutions available to fill that empty space in your mouth. From implants to dentures and traditional bridges, your dentist can guide you through the best options for your unique needs. One such option is the Maryland dental bridge, a conservative alternative worth considering.
What Sets a Maryland Bridge Apart?
Also known as a resin-bonded fixed partial denture, a Maryland bridge offers a unique design that distinguishes it from other types of bridges. While traditional bridges involve fully covering adjacent teeth with crowns, a Maryland bridge takes a more conservative approach. It bonds to the existing teeth using a metal framework, as explained by the Cleveland Clinic.
Imagine a flying bat: the center of the bridge features the false tooth, while the two wings reach out on either side, bonding to the tongue side of the supporting teeth. By not fully covering the adjacent teeth, the Maryland bridge preserves more of your natural tooth structure compared to other tooth replacement options.
Traditionally, Maryland bridges combine metal and dental ceramic materials, as detailed in a case report from the Journal of Dentistry of Tehran University of Medical Sciences. The metal provides a strong framework, while the floating tooth is made of ceramic, seamlessly blending in with your existing teeth.
Advantages and Disadvantages
In certain situations, a Maryland bridge may offer a more suitable solution compared to other types of bridges. For instance, if you’re still growing but need a replacement front tooth, a Maryland bridge can be a minimally invasive solution, according to the Journal of Esthetic and Restorative Dentistry. By simply attaching the bridge to the backside of the teeth with adhesive, your dentist can provide a natural-looking, fixed tooth.
Additionally, for individuals who may not be able to undergo invasive dental procedures or surgeries, a Maryland bridge can be a viable option. Anesthesia is usually unnecessary when placing this type of bridge, as highlighted in the Journal of Clinical Case Reports. Moreover, Maryland bridges are typically more affordable than alternatives like implants. According to the Australian Dental Journal, resin-bonded bridges, including Maryland bridges, have a 95.1% probability of lasting 12 to 21 years in the front teeth.
Despite its success, the Maryland bridge does have some drawbacks. Bonding metal behind a natural tooth can cause the supporting teeth to appear darker in color, as mentioned in the Journal of Esthetic and Restorative Dentistry. However, new all-ceramic options are emerging to address this issue.
Caring for Your Maryland Bridge
If you and your dentist decide that a Maryland bridge is the right treatment option for your missing tooth, it’s crucial to maintain good oral hygiene. Keeping the bridge clean is essential to prevent plaque buildup under the metal and the potential for cavities, as explained in Dental Update. Follow a rigorous oral hygiene routine of brushing twice a day and daily flossing. If traditional floss doesn’t work well for you, consider using an interdental device. Additionally, if you notice any issues with your bridge, make sure to visit your dentist promptly for necessary repairs.
A Maryland bridge can be an excellent solution for those missing a tooth. If you’re interested in this treatment option, have a conversation with your dentist to explore the possibilities. Remember, your dentist is the best person to guide you through the decision-making process and determine the most suitable treatment for your specific situation.
To learn more about dental bridges and other oral health topics, visit Make You Smile.