Dental bridges are a kind of false tooth which can be used to replace one or more missing teeth by having the surrounding teeth provide an anchor. Two crowns which are placed on the nearby teeth anchor the false tooth (sometimes called a pontic) in place. Bridges are usually recommended when you have one or more missing teeth which are impacting on your smile, appearance, speech and general oral health.
The maryland bridge is an increasingly popular kind of bridge as very few adjustments need to be made to the surrounding teeth when placing the bridge. Maryland bridges are made up of a special resin which is cemented on to the enamel of your teeth and a metal framework. The structure of the bridge helps to improve its strength making Maryland bridges up to three times as strong as their conventional counterparts. An added benefit of the Maryland bridges light preparations are that there's no need to expose the inner part of the tooth known as the dentin. This helps to minimise the risk of you experiencing sensitivity in your teeth following the procedure. Also, as the nearby teeth won't need to be altered greatly, the process is normally completely reversible.
Procedure for fitting a Maryland Bridge
In order to make your bridge your dentist takes a mold of your teeth in a specialised dental putty. Some alterations usually have to be made to your natural teeth in order to accommodate the support crowns. This mold is then sent off to a laboratory where they specialise in custom bridge making.
Once your custom made bridge is ready you'll visit your dentist to have it fitted. Your dentist will first numb the target area using a local anaesthetic. The teeth on either side of the gap are first prepared by shaving away a tiny area to accommodate the new crown (although if you have had a temporary bridge fitted while waiting for your Maryland bridge this will usually have happened in a previous visit). Your dentist will check the fit and bite to make sure it's comfortable and make any necessary adjustments. If you're both happy with the look and feel of your new bridge then it's put into place permanently fixed using dental cement. It's normal to have a follow up visit to check that the bridge has been fitted correctly.
Caring for a Maryland Bridge
Your Maryland bridge can last upwards of ten years as long as you have a decent oral hygiene regime. You should take good care of your Maryland bridge as you would your natural teeth. So make sure to clean it every day, pay particular attention to the false tooth as cleaning it will protect you from gum disease, tooth decay and bad breath. You'll also need to carry on caring for your natural teeth as these provide an anchor for your bridge. All dentists agree that you should brush your teeth and floss twice a day for around two minutes. Avoiding sugary snacks and drinks and maintaining a healthy diet is also recommended.