A Maryland bridge (also referred to as Maryland bonded bridges) is used to replace missing front teeth where there are strong neighboring teeth, and excellent oral hygiene is practiced by the patient. Many types of dental bridges require the neighboring teeth to be altered by the dentist performing the procedure, but with a Maryland dental bridge, a metal wing is bonded to the neighboring teeth instead.
The Maryland dental bridge is a dental appliance with a name that can be rather misleading. You would think that it was invented in Maryland, but it really wasn’t. In fact, the University of Maryland only helped this form of tooth replacement embrace a higher level of popularity, which is where it was given the name. However, a dentist from Glendale, Ohio is responsible for its original creation.
This eliminates the need to alter the neighboring teeth so that a bridge can be placed. Often, this has caused many people to ask questions such as:
· How much does a Maryland dental bridge cost?
· Is a Maryland bridge as strong as other types of bridges?
· What are the other advantages of Maryland dental bridges?
These questions and more will be answered throughout this guide to Maryland bridges. If you were wondering whether this method is right for you, you have come to the right place.
What is a Maryland dental bridge?
Just like other types of dental bridges, a Maryland bridge provides dental patients with the opportunity to replace missing teeth. It is commonly used when a single front tooth needs to be replaced, and when the patient has healthy teeth on both sides of the gap.
Using a piece of metal that resembles a wing, it is able to be placed in the gap and bonded to the teeth that surround it. This method of tooth replacement eliminates the need for the patient to modify the supporting teeth to make it fit snugly as they would have to do with other types of bridges.
Usually, you will find that this is a temporary solution that’s embraced while dental implants are given a chance to heal. Since the preparation is minimal, the cost is a lot more affordable than alternative options as well which makes it great for those who can’t afford the cost of a procedure that takes more preparation and more time.
How is a Maryland bridge held in place?
Dental cement is used to bond the wing to the supporting teeth that are located on both sides of where the Maryland bridge in place. There are times when a Maryland bridge will use porcelain to substitute the metal, but this method is a lot less common.
What is a Maryland dental bridge made of?
The teeth are made of plastic (or ceramic), and the gum material is similar to the material used to make the teeth. It is backed by a metal frame that provides it with the support that it needs. The wing is made of metal and sits behind the neighboring teeth that are being used as anchors for your Maryland bridge.
Maryland Bridge Pros and Cons
To shed some light on whether this could be the most ideal option for you, it’s best to see the “good” and “not so good” of Maryland bridges. We won’t elaborate anymore, it’s time to dig in.
The Advantages of a Maryland Bridge
When it comes to whether a Maryland bridge can offer you the opportunity to embrace the smile that you seek, the results speak for themselves. Here are the strongest benefits of Maryland dental bridges that our patients have been able to embrace.
· This type of bridge consists of a simple procedure unlike other types of bridges.
In just a few weeks you can expect to have your Maryland bridge procedure behind you, and enjoy life with a smile that you can be proud of. You can also expect your dental appointments to take very little time since there are no serious adjustments that need to be made.
· Great for those who have the need to only replace a single tooth.
In fact, this is what the Maryland bridge was originally designed for, as it provides dentists with the opportunity to go about a better way of providing front tooth replacement. Since it uses a wing, placement isn’t as limited as it is with other kinds of dental bridges.
· Lasts just as long as other types of dental bridges that are available.
That’s right, as long as you embrace solid oral hygiene practices and take care of your Maryland bridge it can last upwards of 10 years. However, if you fail to do so, it might not last as long but this is the case with any type of prosthetic dental appliance.
· The cost isn’t as expensive as some of the other tooth replacement options.
Since the procedure is more straightforward and less complex to perform, you can expect it to be one of the most affordable types of dental bridges available. Keep in mind that metal wings on the Maryland bridge may cost less, but it’s not much more to use other materials such as porcelain (which is most ideal for those wanting this bridge for the long-term).
· Preserves the tooth structure of neighboring teeth.
Since a Maryland bridge is bonded to the back of the neighboring teeth on each side, no modifications of your teeth will be needed. This also means that a Maryland bridge is completely reversible if either it is not the best fit or if you want to pursue dental implants sometime in the future.
The Disadvantages of a Maryland Bridge
A Maryland bridge isn’t for everybody, just like any other kind of dental procedure. Everyone has a specific approach that will work the best for them, so here are the most common drawbacks associated with Maryland bridges.
· When metal is used, it can make the supporting teeth seem darker.
· It doesn’t last as long as a dental implant would, but it is much less costly.
· Two teeth are the maximum limit that can be replaced with this type of bridge.
Maryland Dental Bridge Comparison
There are many other types of dental bridges that are used to help replace teeth that you might be missing, so what makes a Maryland bridge different from the rest? To help answer this question and fulfill the curiosity of all, this option was put head-to-head with the top 3 alternatives.
· Maryland Bridge vs Cantilever Bridge
A cantilever bridge is good for those who only have one tooth on either side of the gap that needs to be filled with the bridge. In a nutshell, two crowns are mounted to provide the bridge with the support that it needs.
For those looking for a more aesthetically pleasing appearance, the cantilever bridge provides this opportunity. However, unlike the Maryland bridge, the procedure can’t be reversed if there comes a need to do so in the future. If you plan on getting implants, it’s no doubt that the cantilever bridge is the most ideal option as this is essentially what it is designed for.
However, if you plan on having your bridge in for the long-term, the cantilever bridge can produce the most visually pleasing result since it doesn’t use metal (which is known to make the supporting teeth darker than all of your other teeth).
· Maryland Bridge vs Dental Implants
The main difference between a Maryland dental bridge and dental implants is that implants are much more durable and last twice as long as bridges. Those who need a cost-effective solution will find that going with a dental bridge is going to be much more affordable. However, those who want to embrace the strongest and longest-lasting form of tooth replacement will find that dental implants can provide them with exactly that for a higher price.
· Maryland Bridge vs Traditional Dental Bridges
The most common approach for those looking to fill in the gap where they might be missing teeth is to go with traditional dental bridges. To put a traditional dental bridge in, a dentist must remove some of the enamel on neighboring teeth in order to get them ready for crowns.
Once the enamel is removed, impressions of your teeth will be taken. From there, a dental bridge is custom-made (usually off-site) and sent back for installation. For this to work, neighboring teeth on either side must be in a healthy state.
It is not uncommon for a patient to not want to alter their natural teeth and has become one of the primary reasons that a Maryland dental bridge is usually embraced as an alternative.
How much does a Maryland bridge cost?
This depends upon the type of dentist that you choose to have install a Maryland bridge, as well as what is required to fulfill your needs the best. On average, a single tooth replacement with a Maryland bridge can cost you anywhere between $1,500-$2,500. However, this could be more if you require multiple teeth to be replaced or if there is additional dental work needed.
You can save money on the cost by embracing a dental savings plan, which will provide you with a significant discount on dental work (including a Maryland bridge). If you don’t have insurance this could provide you with the savings that you need in order to make it affordable. Just ask your dentist if they offer this kind of plan, as most do.
Will my insurance help pay for a Maryland bridge?
Since this is a type of dental bridge, insurance companies are familiar with why people need them and are usually willing to pay for some of the cost of Maryland dental bridges. However, this means that you will have to pick up the costs that they don’t cover. It’s not just with this type of dental bridge that this is common, as it’s something that we have seen with our patients regardless of the type of dental bridge that they decide to embrace.
This doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to embrace third-party financing (such as CareCredit) to help you cover the remainder of your bill. In fact, this is commonly an option that seems to help our patients out the most while getting the dental bridge they need in order to fill the gap.
Where can I get a Maryland bridge in Houston?
You can either embrace the assistance of your dentist or give us a call here at Best Dental in Houston to schedule your initial appointment. We have years of experience when it comes to placing Maryland bridges as well as performing a wide array of other tooth replacement options. We are a full-service dental office that provides simple solutions as well as solutions that require a surgical dentist.
Other Frequently Asked Questions
Can a Maryland bridge be recemented?
The short answer is yes. It’s not uncommon for Maryland bridges to need to be recemented due to teeth shifting and the fit not being as snug as it used to be. However, you will want to make sure that you inform your dentist immediately upon discovering that it doesn’t fit quite as it used to in order to ensure that they have a chance to fix it before it becomes irreparable.
Can you eat with a Maryland bridge?
Yes, but when you first get a Maryland bridge you do need to exercise caution. This means eating small morsels of food and only eating soft foods. This caution should be exercised until you actually get used to your Maryland bridge.
Does a Maryland bridge hurt?
During the procedure, an anesthetic will be used to ensure that it isn’t a painful experience for you. After it wears off, you shouldn’t experience any pain with your Maryland dental bridge. If you do, make sure to let your dentist know so that they can try to help you find out why it’s hurting as well as provide you with a solution to the pain in its entirety.
How long does a Maryland dental bridge last?
As long as you practice good oral hygiene and take proper care of your bridge, it can easily last for over 10 years. However, with a Maryland bridge, it does tend to be used as a temporary replacement until a more permanent solution can be embraced. This doesn’t mean that it can’t be used for the long-term, it simply means that it is often a choice for those who plan on getting dental implants in the future.
How many teeth can a Maryland bridge replace?
The maximum number of teeth that can be replaced with a Maryland bridge is 2, and in most cases, it is only used for single tooth replacement. If you have to replace more than 2 teeth, you might want to consider other options such as a traditional dental bridge or dental implants.