Can a Maryland Bridge Be Used to Replace Congenitally Missing Teeth?
A Maryland bridge can be used to replace congenitally missing teeth in certain cases. A Maryland bridge, also known as a resin-bonded bridge or a Maryland bonded bridge, is a type of dental bridge that consists of a false tooth (pontic) supported by metal or porcelain ‘wings’ on either side. These wings are bonded to the back of the adjacent teeth using a dental adhesive.
A Maryland bridge is popular with dentists and patients that want to take a minimally invasive approach to replacing a missing tooth. Since the teeth near the gap don’t need to be shaved down like with a traditional crown this treatment method conserves the teeth.
When it comes to replacing congenitally missing teeth, a Maryland bridge can be a suitable option if the adjacent teeth are healthy, have minimal restorations, and are strong enough to support the bridge. Since congenitally missing teeth are often adjacent to natural teeth, a Maryland bridge can be a conservative and aesthetic solution to fill in the gap.
However, there are a few factors to consider before getting a Maryland bridge:
Tooth Support – The success of a Maryland bridge relies on the strength and health of the adjacent teeth. The wings of the bridge are bonded to the back surfaces of the adjacent teeth, and these teeth must be in good health for proper bonding and support.
Space Availability – The size and position of the gap left by the congenitally missing teeth should be evaluated. A Maryland bridge is typically suitable for replacing a single missing tooth or a small gap. If the gap is too large or multiple teeth are missing, alternative options like dental implants or conventional dental bridges may be more appropriate. Alternatively, your dentist may refer you to an orthodontist in order to reduce the amount of space between the teeth before placing the Maryland bridge.
An Esthetic Solution – The Maryland bridge is specifically used in what dentists call the aesthetic zone. These are the teeth in the front that are most visible and rarely used for biting or chewing. While the result of the Maryland bridge procedure is cosmetically pleasing, it doesn’t have the strength to withstand the pressure from chewing. This also means that this solution may not be ideal for nail biters. Your dentist should do a complete evaluation, including assessing things like nail biting and bruxism before recommending a Maryland bridge.
Longevity and Maintenance – Since Maryland bridges are purely a cosmetic dental solution, compared to other options like dental implants or traditional bridges that are also functional, they may have a slightly shorter lifespan. The resin bonding used to attach the wings can gradually wear out over time, requiring occasional maintenance or repair. Regular dental check-ups and good oral hygiene practices are crucial to maintaining the longevity of the Maryland bridge.
If you live near Salem, NH or Newburyport, MA and are curious about replacing congenitally missing teeth we recommend booking a dental consultation with Dr. Paul Mathew.