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Maryland Bridges

Why is it Called Maryland Bridge?

There is an interesting story behind this name. It is not named after the state of Maryland, nor was it really invented anywhere in the state of Maryland. The technique was probably invented by Dr. Stewart R Halbauer, an Atlanta dentist. Later the University of Maryland popularized this technique, and hence, came to be known as the Maryland bridge.

What is a Maryland Bridge?

In the Maryland bridge, porcelain teeth and are baked onto a metallic structure. The metal framework contains two wings on either side which contain porosities on their inner surfaces that are helpful in attaching them to the supporting natural teeth with the help of an adhesive dental cement.

Who Can Get Maryland Bridges?

Maryland bridges are ideal for patients who are looking for a reliable and esthetic solution for replacing their missing front teeth. However, not all patients with missing teeth are eligible candidates for getting Maryland bridges. These bridges are offered to only those individuals who do not have cavities on the supporting teeth, and have an excellent oral hygiene.

How are they Prepared?

The method of fabrication of Maryland bridges is slightly different from the other types of teeth bridges. This is because there is minimal requirement for the preparation of the supporting natural teeth. However, in some cases, a slight depression may need to be created on the inner surface of the teeth to enhance the retention of the bridge framework. After necessary tooth preparation, your dentist will make an impression of the prepared teeth, which will be sent to the dental laboratory. Once the prepared Maryland is received back, it is attached to the teeth by using a dental cement.

Advantages

  • Tooth conservation:Perhaps, the biggest advantage of Maryland bridges is the minimal or no requirement to remove natural tooth structure of abutment teeth.
  • Easy and quick to prepare: in comparison to other types of bridges, the process of fabrication of Maryland bridges is simpler and easier.

Disadvantages

Maryland bridges possess two aesthetic limitations due to the use of a metallic framework for support and attachment.

  • Limited usage: Maryland bridges are only suitable for use in very few clinical situations. Therefore, they are not used very commonly for tooth replacement.
  • Metallic appearance: Our original teeth are naturally translucent. They show partially the color of the metal wings attached at their back surfaces, and hence, appear slightly darker than the other original teeth. Thus, an undesirable color mismatch can occur. To overcome this problem, frameworks of Maryland bridges are being prepared by using zirconia or other types of high strength ceramics.
  • High cost: Maryland bridges are considerably more expensive than removable dentures and other types of dental bridges.

Maryland bridges provide a reliable, esthetic, and convenient tooth replacement option for patients who have lost their front teeth. If you are one of them, then you should visit your dentist today to discuss the possibility of getting a new smile with Maryland bridges.