The Carolina bridge is a novel all-porcelain bonded pontic. It requires no significant tooth preparation, making it an outstanding option as an interim prosthesis.
Numerous bonded bridge designs have been advocated over the years for the temporary or permanent replacement of missing teeth. Both metal and all-porcelain designs of bonded bridges are popular, each with varying degrees of success.
All of these designs involve some degree of tooth preparation, which makes them irreversible in nature. This is where the Carolina bridge comes in. The key to success with a Carolina bridge is the availability of adequate surface area interproximally to ensure optimally strong resin composite connectors.
Utilizing an ultraconservative all-porcelain bonded bridge for the interim replacement of single incisors relies on clear understanding of indications, contraindications, and clinical technique.
I Love the Carolina Bridge & Here’s Why
The Carolina type of bonded bridge provides benefits like ease of placement, esthetic vitality (no metal substructure), ease of connector repair, and a totally reversible nature.
Patients best suited for an all-porcelain bonded Carolina bridge are young adolescents with missing maxillary incisors. In these cases, an all-porcelain bonded pontic is an excellent interim prosthesis because of its totally reversible nature.
The abutment teeth can be returned to their original condition simply through removal of the bonded pontic and the resin composite connectors.
The Carolina bridge can also be used as a restorative alternative in cases where a more permanent fixed prosthesis is impractical or unaffordable. This might be a result of the patient’s age, medical condition, or economic status.
Additionally, patients with missing lateral incisors and in whom the remaining edentulous space is too small for an implant are often excellent candidates for an all-porcelain bonded pontic of this type. By slightly lapping the adjacent teeth, an esthetically acceptable prosthesis can be obtained.
In my next blog, I’ll talk about the design of the Carolina bridge and illustrate my technique for implementing it in appropriate cases.
Dr. Heymann will be a featured lecturer at the Pankey 2018 Annual Meeting in Nashville, TN