The Maryland bridge is a method used to replace a missing  tooth, without having to prepare the neighboring teeth.

Maryland Bridge diagram
A Maryland bridge consists of a metal framework with a porcelain tooth connected onto the front of the framework. The framework then ends up as a false tooth with one or two metal wings on the side. These metal wings are prepared to have a porous surface so that they can receive a bonding agent, and then the wings are bonded to the back sides of the teeth on either side of the missing tooth. 

 

 

Advantages of a “ Maryland bridge ” 

  •       Minimal tooth structure needs to be removed.
  •       Abutment teeth are not damaged. They are basically left intact.
  •       Because of the conservative nature of the preparaton, the potential for pulpal trauma is  minimized.
  •       Anesthesia is often unnecessary in order to prepare the teeth.
  •       Less periodontal irritation results in comparison with  the conventional bridge

 

  • Problems Associated with a Maryland Bridge

    Though it is valuable, Maryland bridge has some problems in regard to the use of metal and the  longevity of the bridge bonding.

    • It is used only when one tooth is missing
    • The teeth are translucent. The metal backing will cause the teeth to darken slightly, so the result is a slghtely different  color than other front teeth. To overcome this problem we design the framework to fit at the palatal portion of the tooth.
    • The false tooth is a porcelain fused to metal. This will make it lack the natural translucency and vitality that other teeth have in them.
    • There is a tendency of the metal wings to debond, depending on the chewing forces applied on the bridge. Therefore the bridge has to be recemented every few years.

     

    In conclusion:  The Maryland bridge has been  successful and is used in dentistry for over more than 20 years. The quality and design of the bridge have been proven successful both as a transitional and permanent prosthesis. It can last over ten years if one takes relevant care of it and mantains a good hygiene regime.

     

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