Is a fixed bridge better than a Maryland bridge?
Q: I am approximately 6 months pregnant. I have a Maryland bridge on the lower left that is coming unsealed on one tooth. I can floss entirely between the bridge and the tooth, but it is unsealed enough that dental floss and food particles get caught in there. My prosthodontist said that he will not replace my bridge with another one. He recommends replacing it with a fixed bridge. He suspects that this may effect the baby tooth that I still have on the other side of the bridge, causing the root to decay or loosen. I want to preserve the baby tooth as long as it is healthy and not go for something major like another bridge or an implant. What are the advantages and disadvantages of a fixed bridge versus Maryland bridge? A fixed bridge seems pretty extensive and I am hesitant to do this before the baby is born. Is it OK to wait until either the bridge breaks entirely or after the pregnancy?
A:You are correct in being concern for your baby. The right name for the bridge you have is Maryland Bridge. This kind of bridge is given with support from adjoining teeth but with minimal grinding of the adjoining teeth. As of today, I can suggest you to go to your dentist and ask him to just fix it again temporarily for two more months but do not forget to get it removed in the 8th month of pregnancy. Maryland bridges are not strong enough and are recommended to be removed before giving general anaesthesia (in case you require general anaesthesia during delivery- it cannot be predicted but you should be on safer side). Do not go for any extensive procedure till your pregnancy is over. Later on, if required, you may go for fixed bridge. Fixed Bridge is made by capping adjacent two teeth as it involves more grinding of adjacent teeth. But it is standard and accepted procedure, you may go in for it after your pregnancy is over. One more suggestion. Please do not forget to take instructions from your dentist on care of baby's gums and feeding instructions.