What's The Difference Between A Maryland Bridge And A Traditional Dental Bridge?

Dentist Blog

If you're missing a single tooth and the two teeth next to the space are healthy, then you may be a good candidate for a dental bridge. Dental bridges are a popular dental restoration due to their low cost and longevity. A dental bridge consists of a replacement tooth and two anchors that attach to the two teeth next to the gap where your missing tooth is. There are two common types of bridges used to replace a single missing tooth: Maryland bridges and traditional dental bridges. If you're considering getting a bridge to replace your missing tooth, read on to learn more about the difference between these two types of bridges.

Traditional Bridges

In a traditional bridge, the replacement tooth is directly connected to two dental crowns. The crowns are placed on the two teeth next to your missing tooth, and they act as anchors that hold the replacement tooth. Traditional bridges evenly distribute biting and chewing forces evenly across the entire bridge, making them suitable for replacing missing teeth in the back of your mouth that you use to chew.

One downside of a traditional bridge is that using one to replace a missing tooth requires altering the two teeth next to the missing tooth. A dentist needs to file away some of the enamel on those teeth in order to create enough space to place the dental crowns. This can be an added bonus if those teeth already need dental restoration using crowns, but is otherwise a downside.

Maryland Bridges

Maryland bridges don't use crowns to keep the replacement tooth in place. Instead, the replacement tooth is connected to two metal wings that stick out from its sides. When using a Maryland bridge to replace a missing tooth, a dentist will use a strong adhesive to bond the metal wings to the back of the two teeth next to the missing tooth.

The main downside of a Maryland bridge compared to a traditional bridge is that it can only be used to replace a missing front tooth. The metal wings don't distribute biting and chewing forces very well, so a Maryland bridge may break if it's placed in the back of your mouth where you chew.

Despite the decreased strength, Maryland bridges are an excellent dental restoration for a missing front tooth. They're less expensive than traditional bridges because there's no need to create dental crowns in a lab or place them on your teeth. A dentist will also need to remove enamel from your teeth in order to make space for a dental crown.

Overall, a Maryland bridge can be a good alternative to a traditional bridge if you're missing a front tooth. You'll avoid the need to alter the healthy teeth adjacent to your missing tooth, and you'll also save money. If your missing tooth is in the back of your mouth, however, then a Maryland bridge won't be an option for you — you'll need to opt for a traditional bridge for your dental restoration. They're stronger and spread force evenly across the whole bridge, allowing them to easily withstand all the biting and chewing forces that they're subjected to.

To learn more about dental restoration practices, contact a dentist in your area.


8 November 2022

Loving Your Smile

Do you remember the last time you looked at your smile and really loved what you saw? A few years ago I started spending more time analyzing my appearance, and I noticed that my teeth were seriously lacking. I knew that I had to do something to improve the situation, so I began focusing on loving my smile by getting some work done. I started talking with a dentist about how he could help, and it was really incredible to see the simple difference that he was able to make. Within a few years, my smile looked and felt completely different, and I was really pleased with the results. Check out this blog for great information on making your smile more beautiful.