My daughter is missing one of her upper teeth. The orthodontist left a space for an implant when she’s older. In the meantime, our options were a retainer made by the orthodontist or a Maryland Bridge made by our general dentist. However, the Maryland Bridge keeps falling out. He offered to remake it with metal clasps instead of cement, but I’m worried it’ll fall out again. The orthodontist suggested a flipper, and isn’t sure why the family dentist made the Maryland Bridge in the first place. Should we get the flipper from the orthodontist, or try the bridge again? Did our dentist make a mistake? Should we switch dentists entirely?
Yuko from Pennsylvania
Maryland Bridges have a false tooth attached metal wings that attach to the backs of the teeth surrounding the empty space. To stay properly, the back of the teeth and metal both need to be etched to bond securely. The etches may not have been made deep enough, which is why the bridge keeps falling out. However, if the surrounding teeth are healthy, roughening them may not be the best option. This process permanently alters the tooth’s structure.
Your dentist didn’t make a mistake, just chose a less obvious solution to the problem of a missing tooth. A flipper would be a better choice going forward, so opt for one from your orthodontist. If you no longer trust your general dentist, you can ask your orthodontist who they would recommend.
This blog is brought to you by the office of Gilbert dentist, Dr. Matthew Roper, of Vista Dorada Dental.