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A Maryland dental bridge is a type of permanent dental bridge that can replace a missing tooth. It got its name from the University of Maryland.
The concept is similar to that of a typical dental bridge. The dentist will attach the prosthetic tooth replacement to the teeth on either side of the gap to create a seamless smile.
There is one key difference between traditional and Maryland dental bridges. Maryland bridges are bonded differently. They don't require any enamel removal.
A traditional dental bridge requires the dentist to shave down some of the enamel on the adjacent teeth. A Maryland dental bridge does not.
Your dentist needs to remove some healthy tooth enamel to place a typical dental bridge. This permanently affects the intact teeth to which it attaches.
A Maryland dental bridge has thin metal “wings” that attach to the back of your teeth. Your dentist will bond that metal framework from the false tooth to the supporting teeth with a composite resin.
They will not remove any tooth enamel before placement.
Typical dental bridges are common. A Maryland bridge is not a tooth replacement option for everyone. They are only ideal for patients who have good oral hygiene and healthy neighboring teeth.
A dentist may only recommend a Maryland bridge for someone who meets these criteria and needs one or two missing front teeth replaced.
Unlike a traditional dental bridge, a Maryland bridge does not require enamel shaving. To qualify for a Maryland bridge, a patient needs to have healthy neighboring teeth and good oral hygiene.
Like all dental procedures, there are pros and cons to Maryland bridges.
Getting a Maryland bridge is non-invasive, low-risk, quick, instant, cost-effective, long-lasting, and doesn't require enamel removal. However, it may cause teeth darkening and tooth decay, and it needs frequent rebonding (every five to eight years).
The implant procedure to place a Maryland bridge is simple. It is a generally quick and non-invasive procedure that shouldn’t require too many trips to the dentist’s office.
Once you leave your appointment to have your dental bridge put in place, you should be able to eat, chew, and speak normally.
There isn’t any downtime following a Maryland dental bridge placement, and you should not experience any pain.
That said, you might notice mild sensitivity. You should avoid hard and cold foods and liquids that can trigger your sensitivity.
Practicing proper oral hygiene by brushing your teeth, flossing, and rinsing with mouthwash will also help keep your mouth clean and healthy so your bridge can last longer.
Installing a Maryland bridge involves a quick trip to the dentist's office. After leaving the dentist's office, you can eat, chew, and speak normally. You may feel mild tooth sensitivity.
Here are answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about Maryland dental bridges.
The cost of a Maryland dental bridge will vary depending on several factors like your dental insurance, oral health, the missing tooth (or teeth), the materials used in the Maryland bridge structure, and more. Generally, a Maryland bridge will cost about $1,000 to $2,300.
Maryland bridges can last a few years, though you may need to rebond the wings every so often. Typically, the wings on a Maryland bridge will need to be rebonded every five to eight years.
A Maryland bridge should not damage your teeth because the dentist does not need to remove any enamel from your adjacent teeth. Maryland bridges are better for your teeth than many other dental alternatives.
Maryland bridges do not typically fail. However, a Maryland bridge may not work for all teeth, such as back teeth and molars in the back of the mouth.
It also may not work if you are missing several teeth in a row. This is because the wings will not have anything to bond to and it won’t be stable enough to support several teeth. Other treatment options are available, like partial dentures and dental crowns.
If a Maryland bridge is an option for you, the bridge should last you at least several years. Some bridges can last up to 15 years, but they will last about a decade with proper care.
Cantilever bridges require the reshaping of just a single abutment tooth (supporting tooth). A Maryland bridge has thin metal “wings” that attach to the back of your teeth.
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