I’m having trouble figuring out what’s going on with my son’s teeth. We have a great orthodontist and what I thought was a good dentist, but now I’m not so sure. My son is missing a tooth on the upper right, near the front. We planned to have an implant done for him when he’s older, so the orthodontist straightened everything out and left a space for the implant. He said we could either get a retainer to keep everything in place or have the family dentist make something else. Well, that something else wound up being a “Maryland bridge,” to put a false tooth in place for the next few years. On the first round, the dentist created something with clasps and it fell out right away. He said it was the cement, so he put it back in with something stronger. It fell out again within a few days. Now he wants to have the whole thing remade with metal clasps and I’m a little worried that the same thing will happen. I mentioned it to the orthodontist and he said he wasn’t sure why the family dentist was going this route and suggested we get a flipper instead. I’m really torn. Was the orthodontist saying the dentist did something wrong? Should we switch gears and get a flipper? Do we need a new dentist?
The problem probably wasn’t the cement. It was the way that the teeth were prepared. The adjacent teeth needed notches cut in them to hold the bridge in place, but in an effort to be conservative, the dentist probably made them too shallow. For this reason, the replacement bridge will probably do the exact same thing. The only real fix is to make those grooves deeper, but that will permanently alter the structure of those teeth. Since they’re healthy, that would not be the best form of treatment.
It’s unclear why your dentist chose this route over a flipper to begin with, unless it’s because you passed on the retainer and they’re similar in build. Your best bet is to request the flipper, instead of going forward with a new bridge. This is something that your family dentist should be able to create for you, but if you have trouble, you may want to find out who the orthodontist prefers for general dentistry and get an opinion from that office.
I hope this helps you make a decision.
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