Losing one of your teeth can be a stressful experience at any age, but there are plenty of options to replace that missing tooth with an artificial one. Many people opt for a dental bridge, which involves placing an artificial tooth in a gap between two healthy teeth.
While most dental bridges are supported by crowns fitted to the teeth on either side of the gap, you may also be able to opt for a Maryland bridge. Rather than fitting crowns, your dentist will simply bond a thin metal framework to the backs of existing teeth, and this framework will be used to support the artificial tooth.
Maryland bridges aren't right for every patient, but here are just four reasons one might be right for you.
1. Preserves Natural Tooth Structure
When a dentist fits a crown, they need to slightly shave down a tooth in order for it to fit. Many patients prefer a more conservative approach that preserves as much natural tooth structure as possible, and Maryland bridges often offer the ideal solution. Since supporting wires are fixed behind natural teeth using an adhesive, no tooth structure needs to be removed.
2. Minimal Preparation
While traditional crown-supported dental bridges do not require particularly invasive procedures or surgeries, many patients still prefer a less invasive option. Since no tooth structure needs to be removed for Maryland bridges to be fitted, preparation is minimal and anaesthetic is not usually required. This can make Maryland bridges ideal for people with dental phobias or for those who want their procedure completed as quickly as possible.
3. Easy Recovery
Patients sometimes experience slight discomfort, sensitivity or swelling of the gums after having a Maryland bridge fitted, but many others experience no discomfort and avoid any downtime after their procedure. In fact, you should be able to eat and speak normally once you leave your dentist's office. Even if you have your Maryland bridge fitted in the middle of a business day, you will be able to get back to work quickly without having to take any time off.
4. Low Cost
Finally, it's worth keeping in mind that Maryland dental bridges tend to be considerably less expensive than alternative treatments. Traditional crown-supported bridges require more work, which means they often cost more. Maryland bridges will also be significantly less expensive than dental implants. If costs are a concern, it might be well worth talking to your dentist about getting a Maryland bridge.
Contact a dentistry professional to learn more.