I had two dental implants placed. Now the tooth between them needs to be replaced. Is it possible to put a Maryland Bridge between them or do I need to get another dental implant?
This is a good question. While technically you could place a Maryland Bridge in that spot, I’m going to discourage you from that plan. There are some potential complications with this plan which aren’t quite worth the risk.
Maryland Bridge Considerations
Ideally, your dentist makes a groove into the adjacent teeth and then will bond it in place. Without the grooves, the bridge will fail. There are too many biting forces in place for this to hold up without it. There are some complications with this because the adjacent teeth are dental crowns. First, it is much simpler to bond to natural tooth structure than it is to bond to porcelain. In fact, not many dentists even know how to bond to porcelain.
Additionally, making the grooves is a challenge. If you go too far, which is easy to do, now they won’t be bonding to porcelain but to metal. This is even more of a challenge.
Your Best Options Between a Dental Bridge and a Dental Implant
It’s my hope that your dentist planned ahead. Maybe when you needed two dental implants with a healthy tooth between it they factored in the potential of that middle tooth needing to be replaced at some point. If so, they could have placed screw-retained implants in a position which easily allows for it being switched to a traditional bridge. This would allow your dentist to simply unscrew the adjacent dental crowns, create a bridge, then re-attach it.
If that is not a possibility, you can simply have another dental implant placed in the middle space. You’re in an unusual position. Usually, the choice between a dental implant or a dental bridge is more clear cut. You are kind of stuck with whether your dentist planned ahead or not.
This blog is brought to you by Fountain Valley Dentist Dr. Tammy Tran.