When a tooth is missing, whether because it fell out or was congenitally missing, dental implants are often the prefed method to replace the missing tooth. Traditional dental bridges are another way of replacing a missing tooth. But sometimes a Maryland bridge is the way to go for replacing the missing tooth, either out of necessity or due to patient preference.
What is a Maryland Bridge?
A Maryland bridge is a type of dental prosthesis that is used to replace a single missing tooth, specifically in the front of the mouth. Traditional dental bridges rely on preparing adjacent teeth so that a porcelain dental bridge can be cemented onto the adjacent teeth. A Maryland bridge, on the other hand, consists of a fake tooth that’s supported by ‘wings’ bonded onto the back of the adjacent teeth on either side of the missing tooth. This design allows the bridge to be securely attached without the need to grind down the neighboring teeth, as is required with traditional bridges.
Benefits of a Maryland Bridge
- Minimal Tooth Alteration: One of the primary benefits of the Maryland bridge is that it requires little to no reduction of the neighboring teeth. Traditional bridges necessitate the removal of a substantial amount of tooth structure to fit the crowns that support the bridge. In contrast, the Maryland bridge is more conservative, only necessitating minimal preparation of the adjacent teeth.
- Quick Treatment: Since there’s no need to fit crowns, the process of getting a Maryland bridge is generally faster than that of a traditional bridge. Often, it can be placed in just two dental visits.
- Less Invasive: As Maryland bridges don’t rely on crowns or dental implants, the procedure is less invasive, requiring no healing times and offering less discomfort.
- Cost-Effective: The Maryland bridge is more affordable than alternative solutions like implants or traditional bridges, making it an attractive option for patients on a budget.
- Esthetically Pleasing: Designed to match the color and shape of natural teeth, Maryland bridges can be virtually undetectable, making them an excellent choice for replacing front teeth.
Are There Any Drawbacks?
There are a couple of drawbacks to using a Maryland bridge:
- A Maryland bridge can’t be used in areas of the mouth where chewing will take place, making it a purely cosmetic dental solution.
- When a tooth is lost and not replaced with a dental implant the bone at the site of the missing tooth starts getting absotbed by the body since it is no longer being used.
If you are looking for a dentist near Worcester that does Maryland bridges we’d love to have a chat and see how our dental office can help.