What is a Maryland Bridge

Another tooth-replacement solution is the Maryland Bridge. Some believe dentists at the University of Maryland created this bridge technique. Others, however, believe that the Maryland Bridge was created by a dentist in Atlanta named Dr. Stewart R Halbauer and then the technique gained popularity at the University of Maryland. Dr. Gus Livaditis and Dr. Van Thompson are the two dentists at the University of Maryland who credited for the popularity of the Maryland Bridge. Based on Dr. Livaditis’ website, he states that he and Dr. Thompson were co-creators of the bridge.

The framework of a Maryland bridge contains a porcelain tooth which is secured to the front of a metal base. Once the device is complete, it contains a prosthetic tooth with two metal wings on each side. The metal wings contain a porous surface which can adhere to teeth with a special bonding agent. During the placement procedure, the wings are bonded to the back sides of the teeth which are on either side of the missing tooth.

Below are some of the key benefits associated with the Maryland Bridge:

* Abutment teeth are not modified or damaged
* Anesthesia is rarely needed for the procedure
* Conservative procedure preparation
* Low risk for periodontal irritation or pulpal trauma
* Minimal removal of healthy tooth structure

There are two issues associated with the Maryland Bridge and both problems are due to the use of the metal framework.

The first issue is due the natural teeth being translucent in their appearance. The metal backing of the bridge which is bonded to the back of the teeth makes the teeth look darker. Once the bridge is placed, it changes the color of the teeth and they no longer match the other natural teeth. When this darkening is not taken into account, it can cause the prosthetic tooth to be lighter in comparison to the darker abutment teeth.

Another common issue associated with the Maryland Bridge is that the prosthetic tooth is created using porcelain fused to metal. Because of this, it lacks the natural translucency and vitality when compared to the natural teeth. The most natural-looking prosthetic teeth are created entirely from tooth-colored materials.

Popular tooth-replacement solutions which can be used as an alternative to the Maryland Bridge include the following:

1. New ceramics and zirconia are tougher and can be used to create a Maryland Bridge which is more natural in appearance

2. An alternative solution is the Encore Bridge. This bridge uses all tooth-colored materials, which results in a more natural-looking bridge

3. Another alternative to the Maryland Bridge is the ovate pontic technique. This specialized technique makes the false tooth to appear as though it is growing out of the gum
While there are certainly some disadvantages of using the Maryland Bridge, there are also many benefits. The treatment has been in use for more than 20 years as a successful tooth-replacement treatment option. When the Maryland Bridge is properly cared for, it can be used as a transitional or permanent replacement solution for missing teeth. Follow up with your dentist to determine if you may be a good candidate for the Maryland Bridge.


Non Implant Missing Tooth Replacement Options