Cosmetic Dentistry Blog Cosmetic and General Dentistry Questions Answered

May 21, 2016

An update on the Encore Bridge

Filed under: Dental bridges — Tags: , , , — mesasmiles @ 8:25 am

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Dr. Hall,
I can’t find anyone in the Dallas area that knows about an Encore Bridge. Do you know anyone who does this procedure or is it outdated?
Thank you,
Nikki from Dallas

Nikki,
The Encore Bridge was never widely popular. It is very technique sensitive, meaning that many dentists weren’t doing it right, resulting in a weak bridge that might either de-bond or break. Furthermore, it was developed by master dental ceramist Uri Yarovesky of Opus One Laboratories in California, and he has been the only lab doing this procedure, to my knowledge. He may even have a patent on it.

Recently, another aesthetic alternative to the Maryland bridge has developed—the zirconia Maryland Bridge.

Zirconia is an extremely strong ceramic that has excellent optical properties. This is easier to place than an Encore Bridge. Here is a photograph of a zirconia Maryland Bridge, courtesy of Dental Arts Laboratories of Peoria, IL.
A zirconia Maryland Bridge

Some caution is still needed, however. While not as technique sensitive as the Encore Bridge, it is still technique sensitive, and unless a dentist has done several of these successfully, I wouldn’t ask him or her to do one on you. Dentists who haven’t done many tend to think that it can be placed with little or no tooth preparation, but if that is done, there is a strong tendency for the bridge to come loose. An expert cosmetic dentist who does a lot of porcelain bonding work should understand how to do this well. The best approach would probably be to ask a dentist if they have done any of these. If you can’t find an experienced dentist to do this, then I would ask for an understanding up front that if it fails that you will get your money back, or some such guarantee that will be satisfactory to you.

Uri Yarovesky, the inventor of the Encore Bridge, tells me that he has research data showing that the Encore Bridge is stronger than the zirconia Maryland Bridge because it has a greater ability to flex with tooth movement.

– Dr. Hall

Do you have a comment or a question or anything else to add? We’d love to hear from you. Enter your comment below.

Click here to ask Dr. Hall a question of your own.

About David A. Hall

Dr. David Hall was one of the first 40 accredited cosmetic dentists in the world. He practiced cosmetic dentistry in Iowa, and in 1990 earned his accreditation with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. He is now president of Infinity Dental Web, a company in Mesa, Arizona that does complete Internet marketing for dentists.

3 Comments »

  1. Hi Dr
    I have to extract tooth number 5 (upper right first premolar). I can’t do an implant. Is a Maryland bridge a good option? Considering the fact that tooth number 6 is a crown and number 4 has a regular filling?
    Thank you
    Edna

    Response by Dr. Hall:
    If the adjacent tooth is a crown, no, I wouldn’t do a Maryland bridge or an Encore bridge. These bridges are for bonding a tooth replacement to intact natural teeth on either side. The dentist would have to prepare the tooth with the crown on it for a rest seat, and in doing so would likely perforate the crown, ruining it. Even if the crown weren’t perforated, the bond to an existing crown is much more difficult than bonding to a natural tooth.
    I don’t know why you can’t do an implant–that’s what I would do. One other option would be to do a conventional bridge, which would involve re-doing the crown on your canine (#6) and also placing a crown on the other premolar (#4). The other option would be to do a flipper partial.

    Comment by Edna — May 30, 2017 @ 3:49 am

  2. Hi, I also just had my tooth #5 extracted.

    However, teeth #s 4 and 6 are in perfect working order (no fillings/crowns/just nice teeth). So will the Encore bridge be my best bet to avoid damaging surrounding teeth? also, will it be strong enough to bite an apple?

    Thank you so much for your response,
    Holly

    Response by Dr. Hall,
    Holly, first you need to realize that I’m not able to give a good opinion on your situation without personally examining you, seeing what your bite is like, and other information. But to give general principles, here you go:
    1. For a single missing back tooth, I would as a general rule with maybe an occasional exception confine myself to either a conventional bridge or a dental implant. In most cases, an Encore bridge or a Maryland bridge is not going to be strong enough to hold up.
    2. If the adjacent teeth are perfectly healthy and untouched, then go for the dental implant. Those adjacent teeth would have to be prepared with divots and grooves in order to hold an Encore bridge, and in making those preparations you’ve just made them susceptible to recurrent decay. Plus you have a very limited number of dentists who know how to do these bridges correctly.
    – Dr. Hall

    Comment by Holly — December 10, 2017 @ 10:27 am

  3. Dr. Hall
    Are you still practicing in Arizona, if so can I please get your information?
    I’m in California. I have a Maryland bridge that I’m unhappy with and would like your expertise in replacing it. I have a beautiful smile but I’m always hesitant to smile because of it. Please advise😁
    – Marcia Williams

    Response from Dr. Hall –
    Sorry, Marcia, but I do not practice any more.

    Comment by Marcia Williams — July 30, 2018 @ 10:22 am

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