A bonded dental bridge, also called a Maryland bridge, is a great way to replace a missing tooth when used in the right situation. A bonded bridge is comprised of one or two artificial teeth with "wings" connected on each side. To replace a tooth, the wings are fastened to the inside of a person's teeth on either side of the missing one. In recent years, the bonded bridge has fallen out of favor with many dentists because the wings, previously made only out of metal, were unaesthetic and would require frequent visits to refasten it. Today, the bonded bridge wings can be made out of durable resin materials that are cosmetically pleasing and attaches firmly to the teeth.
One common way to use the bonded bridge is when someone comes to the office with a loose tooth in the front of his or her mouth. The dentist gently prepares the adjacent teeth for the bonded bridge, and then takes a mold (impression). Next, he/she sends the impression to the lab that makes the bonded bridge. He/she then brings the patient back to remove the loose tooth and put in place the bonded bridge on the same visit. This way, the patient is rid of the troublesome tooth and never has to go without a tooth in the front of his or her mouth. Another advantage of the bonded bridge is that the wings can help stabilize the teeth to which they are fastened to. This is especially important when the teeth are slightly loose due to periodontal gum disease.
The bonded bridge has several benefits over conventional fixed bridgework (a series of joined caps or dental crowns). These benefits include reduced cost, less drilling or preparation of the teeth, and less time required to complete the treatment. Despite these benefits, there are some drawbacks. The bonded bridge is not as strong as fixed bridgework and is generally only appropriate in the front of the mouth, where biting forces are typically not strong.
The decision to use a bonded bridge is at the discretion of your dentist. People with heavy jaw musculature, weak or very loose teeth, a tendency for bruxism during the day or teeth grinding at night, or too large a space where the teeth are missing may not be good candidates for the procedure. Even so, in some cases, a bonded bridge might be the best way to replace a missing tooth.
Remember, only a dentist can diagnose your dental problems and offer the right treatment plan for you. If you need a dentist, call us at 1-866-970-0441 to be connected with one today.