How Much Does a Dental Bridge Cost?
A dental bridge, also known as fixed partial dentures, is for anyone who is missing one or more consecutive teeth, but if you’re missing more than four to five teeth in a row, a dentist may recommend a partial denture instead since the neighboring teeth will work as an anchor for a bridge. As long as the surrounding teeth are structurally sound and clear from decay, the dentist will be able to perform the procedure.
As the name states, dental bridges are just that — they literally create a bridge to replace the gap in your teeth. Bridges are able to restore your smile, maintain the shape of your face and even distribute the force of your bite.
How much does a dental bridge cost?
- On average, the cost of a dental bridge can be anywhere from $400 per artificial tooth to as much as $1,700 per tooth without insurance. This price is all going to depend on the location of the tooth, the cost of the lab being used, type of materials used and the dentist you’re using. Keep in mind that the average bridge is going to require more than one tooth. A bridge with only one pontic will cost more than one with three, for example.
- A Maryland bridge, for example, will cost about $300 to $600 per wing, plus another $1,500 to $1,300 per false tooth.
- A removable dental bridge can cost $800 to $1,100, depending on the factors mentioned prior.
- For those who have dental insurance, most providers will cover up to around half or even all of the procedure, depending on your deductible, the policy’s maximum benefit payout, and restrictions. It is best to talk with your insurance provider to get a better idea on what you are going to owe and what the policy covers. According to DocShop.com, some insurance companies will only cover certain procedures and materials. For example, on dental insurance policy we looked up had a $75 deductible and a 50 percent coinsurance rate, up to a $1,000 maximum.
- YourDentristryGuide.com claims that you should budget at least $700 to $1,500 per tooth. It really will be based on a number of factors, such as the ones listed below.
Factors that affect the price:
- Additional Treatments: Oftentimes, the dentist may require other treatments, which can increase the cost, but doing these treatments at the same time can be cheaper than doing them individually.
- Dentist: An experienced dentist who has been doing bridges for quite some time will always be more than an inexperienced colleague.
- Fabrication: These bridges will commonly be produced in a dental lab, but there will be times when a dentist office is able to create them in-house. If the crowns were made in the dentist office, the price may be a bit more.
- Geographical Location: With anything in life, where you live can affect the price. A major city will always be more than a rural area.
- Materials: Advanced materials, such as porcelain or zirconia, can cost more than other common materials; however, don’t let the price scare you away as these pricier materials can last longer.
What is going to be included?
- Generally, with your first visit, the dentist will determine the health of your gums and other teeth by performing an oral exam and taking x-rays. In some extreme cases, a CT scan may be required as well.
- If the dentist believes you’re a suitable candidate, they will then create a treatment plan designed just for you. First, they will discuss which bridge, as noted below, will be best for your situation, and this will greatly depend on the dimensions and position of the restoration, as well as your preferences. During this time, they will also take pictures and create impressions. Preparation will involve removing some of the enamel to allow room for the new crown to be placed over them. Next, after the impressions were made, your dentist will be able to create a temporary bridge to protect your exposed teeth and gums while the lab creates the new bridge if it’s being sent out. From here, you will be asked to come back at a later date, which is usually two to three weeks later.
- During your next appointment, your temporary bridge will be removed and the new bridge will be checked and adjusted to achieve a proper fit. Depending on your situation, multiple visits may be required to create the perfect fit and bite.
- Bridges can be made of the following material: gold, silver or metal alloys; porcelain-fused-to-metal; all-porcelain; or zirconia. Each material will have various options and can suit different aesthetic goals.
- A good bridge, as long as it’s put in properly, can last up to 15 years with goo dcare.
What are the extra costs?
- Choosing a material such as gold can be more than choosing, say, porcelain.
Types of dental bridges:
- Cantilever: A cantilever bridge will use only one adjacent tooth and will usually consist of two pontics. This bridge will only be recommended for the front teeth since it’s not able to bear the force of the back teeth, subjecting it to potential damage.
- Maryland Bonded: Created from the University of Maryland, this bridge will use two smaller wings which will be attached to the adjoining teeth. Unlike other bridges, it will involve very little of your surrounding teeth and these wings, instead, will be made of resin to hold the bridge in place.
- Resin Bonded: Known to be the least expensive out of all bridges, this is used when your teeth are healthy. Fused to metal bands, they are bonded to the teeth with a resin and tend to be hidden from view.
- Traditional: A traditional fixed dental bridge will be supported by two crowns on either side of your mouth. Typically, these crowns will go on top of the adjacent teeth, and the dentist may have to reshape the nearby teeth to create leeway for the brand-new bridge. This bridge can help preserve more of the natural tooth structure.
Tips to know:
- There are advantages and disadvantages to a dental bridge. For starters, the advantages can include a natural appearance, which can make your teeth look great for up to 10 years. On the downside, your teeth can become sensitive to the extreme temperatures after treatment. Also, bacteria can get on the bridge, causing them to potentially become infected.
- Bridges will come in different colors, and common colors can include a brown, yellowish or shade of gray. All teeth are going to be different depending on your personality, so be sure to look at the color charts before choosing a bridge.
- Aftercare will be similar to your natural teeth. Dentists will recommend daily brushing, flossing and mouthwash to prevent decay and gum disease.
- Dental bridge problems may include an unnatural look because it doesn’t match the color of your natural teeth or it could have an improper fit, which can lead to pain down the road. Decay may also form if you don’t maintain good oral hygiene.
- Bridge or implant? A dentist may suggest both options to you, and each one will have its own advantages, according to Colgate. Both are constructed differently since a bridge is made of a false tooth suspended between two crowns the dentist cements in, while an implant is simply a false tooth attached to a titanium post that connects to your gum line. In terms of advantages, bridges will be recommended for teeth located in the back of the mouth since it can be hidden easier, while implants may look better near the front of the mouth.
How can I save money?
- Consider checking with a local dental college. A procedure can be done here by a student at a fraction of a cost. All procedures will be done by a student who is closely supervised by a professional.
- Compare prices with local dentists in your area. The ADA has a search tool to find a reputable local dentist in your area.
- Again, dental insurance can often pay for this procedure, but if you don’t have any sort of dental insurance, consider looking at websites such as eHealthInsurance.com to find a policy that works for you. Even with a dental insurance policy, plan on having it cover half the procedure’s cost.
- If you can’t afford the procedure up front, most dentist offices can set up payment plans or they may be able to refer you to a credible third-party financing company. You’re also free to search for third-party financing options as well.
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