What is a Maryland Bridge

The Maryland Bridge is another method which can be a solution for the replacement of a missing tooth. Many people believe that dentists at the University of Maryland created this specific bridge technique. Another believe is that that the Maryland bridge was invented by a dentist in Atlanta named Dr. Stewart R Halbauer and the technique was simply made popular at the University of Maryland. Two dentists at the University of Maryland by the names of

Dr. Gus Livaditis and Dr. Van Thompson are credited with the popularity of the Maryland Bridge. According to Dr. Livaditis’ website, he claims that he did not invent the Maryland Bridge method, but that he and Dr. Thompson co-created the bridge.

The framework for a Maryland bridge includes a porcelain tooth secured to the front of the metal base. The result is a prosthetic tooth which contains two metal wings on either side. The metal “wings” are created with a porous surface in order to adhere to the bonding agent. The wings are then bonded to the backs of the teeth adjacent to the missing tooth.

Some of the top benefits associated with the Maryland Bridge include the following:

1. Abutment teeth remain intact without damage
2. Limited removal of healthy tooth structure is required
3. Periodontal irritation is rare
4. Preparation for the procedure is conservative
5. Pulpal trauma risk is quite low
6. Rarely requires the use of anesthesia

There are unfortunately two issues which exist with a Maryland bridge. Both problems are associated with the use of the metal framework.

The first issue is the translucent appearance of the natural teeth. The metal backing which bonds to the back side of the teeth, causes the teeth to darken. Following the placement of the bridge, these teeth will no longer match the color of the other front teeth. When this unavoidable darkening is not take into account, which often occurs, the prosthetic tooth also tends to be lighter in shade compared to the darker abutment teeth.

The second issues associated with this type of bridge is that the false tooth is made from porcelain fused to metal.

As a result, it does not have the natural translucency and vitality of the other teeth. The most natural-looking false teeth are created from all tooth-colored materials.

The following are some of the alternate solutions which can be used and are similar to the Maryland Bridge:
* Through the use of tougher new ceramics and zirconia, dentists are able to create a more natural looking Maryland Bridge
* The Encore Bridge is another alternative solution which is created entirely from tooth-colored materials, giving it a more natural appearance
* The ovate pontic technique is another Maryland Bridge alternative. This unique technique gives the appearance of the prosthetic tooth growing out of the gum

There are some disadvantages associated with Maryland Bridge, however, the treatment has been in use for over 20 years and proven to be a successful treatment option. When it is properly cared for, the Maryland Bridge can be successful as both a transitional or permanent replacement solution for missing teeth.

What is the Cost of a Dental Bridge

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