Resin-bonded bridges (or Maryland bridges) are one of the treatment options available for the replacement of a single missing tooth. Made from an aesthetic, white material, the false tooth locates into the space of the absent tooth and is held in place by a metal wing connected to the back of either one or both of its neighbours. The wings are attached to the adjacent teeth using a small amount of bonded filling material.
While resin-bonded bridges are a viable option for long-term tooth replacement in certain cases (where the abutment teeth involved are healthy, unfilled and in an area of low stress) they are usually used for short-term space management. Because resin-bonded bridges are very conservative to place they are often used in the interim between having a tooth extracted and having a dental implant fitted. The adjacent teeth take the load from the false tooth, which stops the healing extraction site from experiencing pressure. The protection that the false tooth provides the extraction site though coverage can also reduce healing time and increase comfort.
Because resin-bonded bridges are only cemented on to the back of other teeth they cannot withstand the pressures that normal teeth can. When put under too much pressure, or left in the mouth too long, resin-bonded bridges may de-bond (lose attachment). For this reason we recommend only using the resin-bonded bridge as a mechanism of tooth replacement and socket protection for a maximum of three months. At this time the extraction site will have healed adequately for the placement of the permanent implant and the resin-bonded bridge can be removed.
In some situations, a resin-bonded bridge may not be the most appropriate way to replace the missing tooth until the dental implant can be placed. For these patients the site can either be left uncovered or a temporary denture can be made; the denture would consist of a pink acrylic material that engages the other teeth in the arch with a protruding false tooth that can slot into the extraction site.
How to look after your temporary resin-bonded bridge:
- Avoid eating hard food in this area.
- Brush the bridge gently at morning and night with a soft-bristled toothbrush.
- Use SuperFloss to clean the gum under the bridge as instructed by your dentist – this will not be recommended within the first few days of extraction as it could damage the healing process.
- If the bridge falls out or becomes lose, call the practice on 0121 357 5000 to be fitted in that day for an emergency appointment where the dentist will reattach the bridge for you. While the materials we use to cement these temporary bridges in place are strong, there is small possibility that the bridge may come lose.