At Dental West NYC, we offer our patients choices. For a variety of reasons, an implant and crown might not be the right choice, and we strive to support every patient in making the right choice for them. You have many tooth replacement options in NYC, and we’re here to help you get the best one for your unique circumstances.
What is an Etched Cast Restoration?
An etched cast restoration, sometimes called a Maryland Bridge, is a special type of dental bridge used almost exclusively for patients awaiting a more permanent tooth replacement, such as an implant and crown. While they can actually last forever (and sometimes do), etched cast restorations are meant to be temporary placeholders.
Due to their longevity, an etched cast restoration is the ideal choice for a patient who has to wait years for their implant. Dental West offers this type of bridge for adolescents who will need implants but their jaw has not yet matured.
Etched cast restorations are also used when patients can’t get implants: for example, there isn’t enough bone, the patient is medically compromised, or when patients want something more immediate and don’t want to wait for implants.
Etched Cast Restoration Versus Flipper
An etched cast restoration is a more definitive alternative to a flipper. A flipper (which you may know if you were unlucky enough to have one as a teen) is a retainer with a tooth or teeth attached to hold the space where permanent dentition has been lost. It’s a lot of hardware to replace just one or two teeth and must be removed when eating.
An etched cast restoration is also stronger than a flipper, so it’s less likely to break. And finally, it does not press on the gum tissue the way a flipper can, compromising the final esthetics.
Etched Cast Restoration Benefits
The primary benefit to the etched-cast-restoration is that the missing tooth (or teeth) is replaced without permanently altering the neighboring teeth. It can also be easily removed by your dentist when the time comes for implant placement.
How Does an Etched Cast Restoration Work?
In this two-part procedure, your dentist will analyze the adjacent teeth, make an impression and choose the exact color for the tooth replacement. They’ll discuss with the lab the size and shape of your custom tooth. At your second appointment, the dentist etches a small amount of enamel from the back of the neighboring teeth and uses resin to affix a small “wing” to each. These wings support the functional and convincing replacement tooth between them.
This type of bridge typically only replaces front teeth, since it isn’t strong enough to withstand the type of chewing that molars do. But, it usually stays firmly in place when it’s standing in for a front tooth until it’s appropriate to fabricate the permanent tooth replacement.
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