Did my dentist ruin my Maryland bridge? My former Maryland bridge was 15 years old, but until recently, it was intact. I agreed with my dentist to replace two crowns on the top left side of my mouth. I grind my teeth so the crowns were worn and looked rugged. I got new crowns three weeks ago, and when I got home, I noticed a silver line showing through the bridge tooth.
My dentist covered the silver line with composite and said that I should probably get the bridge replaced. He did agree that he might have nicked the bridge tooth while adjusting my bite, but he also said that my teeth grinding more likely caused the streak. How could teeth grinding cause a line? Today, I see the silver line again on the bridge tooth. So, I probably will get it replaced. What’s the point of having two new crowns with another damaged tooth flashing a silver streak? I’m wondering if my dentist should pay for this, though. Should I ask? Thank you. Lance from Shaker Heights, OH
For our readers: A Maryland bridge is a type of tooth replacement. Replacement teeth are in the center, and wings, or extensions, are attached to the back of adjacent teeth on each end of the bridge. See the photo on this page.
Your bridge tooth had no silver line before your dentist replaced your crowns and adjusted your bite. So yes, you should ask your dentist to restore or replace the bridge tooth at no charge.
Asking Your Dentist to Pay for Your Damaged Crown
You can ask your dentist to pay for the bridge tooth directly, but you may want to prepare an explanation. We suggest finding an experienced cosmetic dentist to examine your Maryland bridge. The dentist who examines it can do the following:
- Tell if teeth grinding caused the streak on the bridge tooth
- Determine if a dental instrument scratched the surface
- Give you documentation on the cause of damage to the surface
You can return to your dentist with the second opinion document and ask for a refund or if he will pay to restore or replace your bridge.
Restoring a Crown without Replacing the Maryland Bridge
Sometimes, a highly skilled cosmetic dentist can conceal the damage to the tooth of the bridge without replacing the entire bridge. One method includes these steps:
- Grind some of the metal to make room for dental bonding cement
- Etch the metal with a micro-etcher
- Prime the metal with a thin layer of opaque cement that bonds to metal
- Cure the cement
- Place composite over the cement
- Shape and polish the composite
Patient cases differ, so an advanced cosmetic dentist must examine your bridge and determine if they can save it.
Schedule an appointment with an accredited cosmetic dentist or one with extensive post-graduate training in cosmetic dentistry.
David Finley, DDS, a Monroe, Louisiana, accredited cosmetic dentist and Academy of General Dentistry Fellow, sponsors this post. Read about what Dr. Finley and his team do to provide some of the best dental care in Monroe.