I got a new Maryland Bridge in early May and have had it replaced three times. I need more dental work but am afraid that this family dentist will be unable to correct the bridge or complete the other work I need. Is it too late to switch dentists in the middle of my bridge work? – Thank you. Frank P. from Dix Hills, NY
We understand your concerns about your dentist’s inability to give you a stable dental bridge. Problems can occur when a dentist lacks training and experience in cosmetic dentistry. It is wise to switch dentists.
What Is a Maryland Bridge?
A Maryland bridge is a tooth replacement option with replacement teeth suspended between two wing-shaped anchors. A dentist bonds the anchors to the backs of each tooth on either side of the missing one(s).
What Causes a Maryland Bridge to Fail?
When a Maryland bridge fails, possible causes include:
- Flawed design – Inadequate tooth impressions or faulty construction can cause the bridge to fail. Sometimes, the dental lab can re-etch the metal and correct the flaws.
- Poor bonding techniques – If your dentist’s bonding techniques are flawed, the wing-shaped anchors will not adhere to the backs of your teeth.
When you tell your dentist you want to switch to another dentist, they have an ethical obligation to send your dental history and records to your new dentist. Your new dentist may decide to take x-rays to ensure your anchor teeth are stable. If your new dentist recommends treatment other than a dental bridge, such as dental implants, please consider the reasons and decide what is best for your long-term oral health.
How Can You Find a New Dentist?
Look for a dentist with post-graduate training in cosmetic dentistry. A combination of experience and training will help the dentist determine why your Maryland bridge failed repeatedly and whether the bridge is the ideal solution for your missing teeth. Schedule a consultation with at least two dentists before you commit to becoming a patient.
Dr. Jerome Cha, a Tulsa, Oklahoma, cosmetic dentist, sponsors this post.