What is a Maryland Dental Bridge?

dental bridge with porcelain teeth for cosmetic

Given the advances in restorative and cosmetic dentistry, patients who are missing one or more teeth have several options for restoring their smile and confidence. Dental bridges are an effective and affordable restoration that are often used to replace missing teeth in qualified candidates. As its name implies, a dental bridge spans the gap created by one or more missing teeth.

Besides offering a superior aesthetic result, dental bridges also help restore lost functionality, allowing for easier chewing and speaking. These artificial replacement teeth also aid in promoting oral health, and are almost indistinguishable from your own, natural teeth.

The Maryland dental bridge is a conservative approach to replacing one or more lost teeth. Also known as an “adhesive bridge” or “resin-bonded bridge,” the Maryland bridge is a less expensive and less invasive alternative to a traditional bridge in which one or more imitation teeth (called pontics) are supported by crowns that are cemented into adjacent, healthy teeth.

Maryland bridge often used for front teeth

Maryland bridges consist of pontics, or artificial teeth, that are affixed with wings that are bonded to the posterior sides of the adjacent teeth. In the past, the framework of a Maryland bridge was only available in metal. Today, patients can choose from reinforced porcelain and zirconia, both of which offer a more desirable aesthetic result. The strength of the Maryland dental bridge is somewhat limited to that of the resin used to bond it. For this reason, it is more often used to replace lost teeth in the front of the mouth, as opposed to molars that are subject to strong biting forces.

This type of dental bridge may be used as a permanent tooth replacement option, or a temporary fix for patients who are waiting for implants or other permanent restorations.

Benefits and drawbacks of Maryland dental bridges

Like any type of dental restoration, there are pros and cons associated with a Maryland bridge.

The main benefits of a Maryland adhesive bridge:

  • Affordable – less costly compared to dental implants
  • Low risk – failed crowns are easily replaced
  • Time-tested – dental bridges have been used for decades
  • Fast procedure – the entire procedure is completed in less than 2 weeks
  • Less invasive – adjacent teeth do not need to be filed down
  • Pain free procedure

Potential drawbacks:

  • May not be suitable for replacing teeth in the back of the mouth
  • Metal wings may cause adjacent teeth enamel to darken
  • Porcelain pontics (fake teeth) may be lighter in color than your natural teeth
  • Not permanent – will need to be re-bonded very 5-8 years

Am I a good candidate?

Tooth decay and periodontal disease must be treated before a dental bridge can be placed. Patients who smoke or those who have unhealthy supporting teeth may not be good candidates for a Maryland bridge.

Maintaining good oral hygiene is very important for those with any type of bridge, since bacteria can build up around the dental restoration. Besides daily brushing and flossing, patients are encouraged to have professional cleanings twice a year.

Maryland dental bridge cost

Maryland bridges are an affordable, quick solution for patients who have lost one or more teeth and are committed to practicing good oral hygiene. To learn more about the cost of a Maryland dental bridge in Suffolk County, feel free to contact Long Island Implant and Cosmetic Dentistry. Request a free appointment by calling our office at 631.296.0588.

Additional “Maryland Dental Bridge” Resources:

  1. WebMd, Dental Health and Bridges https://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/dental-health-bridges#1
  2. Colgate, 4 Types of Dental Bridges http://www.colgate.com/en/us/oc/oral-health/cosmetic-dentistry/bridges-and-crowns/article/four-types-of-dental-bridges-0616

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Ava Lawson

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