If you have decided to use a dental bridge to replace a missing tooth, then you might have some choice over the type of bridge you use. While many people use traditional bridges, some prefer to use Maryland models. What is a Maryland bridge? What are its benefits?
What Are Maryland Bridges?
Both traditional and Maryland bridges use the two teeth on either side of a gap to anchor a false tooth in the hole. However, they are fitted in different ways.
If you take a traditional route, then your dentist prepares the two teeth adjacent to the gap to make them smaller. They then fit a three-crown bridge over these teeth and your gap. The bridge is stuck to the teeth on either side of the gap so that the middle crown covers the gap itself.
A Maryland bridge only contains one tooth. The tooth has metal wings on its back. To attach the bridge, your dentist uses a resin to stick the wings on the two teeth at either side of your gap. The wings go on the back of these teeth.
Why Use A Maryland Bridge?
In order to secure a traditional bridge, your dentist has to take off some of the teeth on either side of your gap. They remove enamel here. While these bridges work well, this is an irreversible procedure. Once your enamel is removed, you can't get it back.
So, once you have this kind of bridge fitted, it's hard to change your mind or choose a different kind of false tooth option in the future. Your two holding teeth will also have to become part of any changes you make because of their reduced size and lost enamel.
Traditional bridgework also has a longer treatment time and a higher cost. Your dentist has to do more preparation work. You also have to pay for a larger three-crown bridge.
Maryland bridges are reversible. They don't involve any enamel loss. If you change your mind at a later date and want to switch to a different type of false tooth, then your dentist simply removes the resin bond and the bridge.
These bridges are also typically cheaper. You only have one tooth made. You don't need extensive preparation work; your dentist simply bonds the tooth's wings to your other teeth to fit it.
While you have some choice over the type of bridge your dentist fits, you should also listen to their advice. In some cases, Maryland bridges are not the best way to fill a gap, in which case your dentist can explain your alternatives.
To learn more, contact a dentist.