What Is A Dental Bridge?
A dental bridge is also known as a partial fixed denture. They contain one or two false teeth and crowns that are attached to the teeth on either side of the gap as an anchor. The dental bridge procedure begins with a mild anesthesia. The dentist then prepares the teeth to be crowned by removing enough of each tooth’s surface area to account for the size of the crown. The dentist then makes a mold to serve as a model for the false teeth, which will be made by a dental laboratory. While this mold is being made, the patient might receive a temporary false tooth to fill in the gap. The temporary bridge, called a Flipper, will be removed and the permanent teeth put in. The procedure is done over the span of two appointments. The first to prepare the teeth that will be crowned and make a model of the bridge, and the second to install the bridge.
Types Of Dental Bridges
The simplest form of a dental bridge is a Maryland bridge or a resin-bonded bridge, and is usually used for the front teeth. It consists of plastic teeth and gums on a metal frame with metal wings on each end to attach to the existing teeth. A pontic, or a three-unit bridge, uses a false tooth and crowns on either side. This is also called a fixed bridge, and cannot be removed as dentures can. A cantilever bridge is used when a crown can be used on only one side of the missing tooth or teeth. The cost of a dental bridge will vary by thousands of dollars according to the type of bridge to be used.
Dental Bridge Cost Estimate
The average cost of a dental bridge is $500 to $900 per tooth. Dental insurance will pay for about half of what a dental bridge costs. These average dental bridge costs do not account for the wings or crowns, which can each cost $250 to $500 or more depending on the type. Dental bridges are made from a variety of materials. These include porcelain, non precious metal, semi-precious metal, precious metal, gold, and ceramic. Ceramic bridges are the most expensive, followed closely by gold. Porcelain and ceramic replacement teeth look the most natural.
Fixed Dental Bridge Cost
A fixed dental bridge costs about $850 per tooth. The entire process of getting a fixed dental bridge takes two appointments. The first appointment preps the surrounding teeth for the implant and allows the dentist to make a mold of the area so that the bridge can be made to fit properly. The second appointment is when the bridge is actually implanted. Dental bridge cost varies regionally. Insurance will pay for about half the cost of a fixed dental bridge, depending on the terms of the insurance policy. Dental bridge price structures are determined on a per unit basis, so you will be paying more depending on how many teeth need to be replaced. The most costly ones are made from all ceramic, and their prices range from $800 to $1500 per unit. Bridges made from gold can cost between $730 and $1350 per unit.
Resin Bonded Bridge Cost
Resin bonded bridges, also known as Maryland bridges, are an economical alternative to traditional bridges. Unfortunately, their usage life is shorter meaning that they will have to be replaced more often. Like fixed bridges, Maryland tooth bridge cost is determined on a per unit basis. The per unit cost of dental bridges of this type run from $300 to $600 per unit. These bridges require less preparation for the surrounding teeth, keeping the overall dental bridge cost a little bit lower. Added to the cost per unit is the cost of the metal wings used to keep the replacement teeth in place.
Dental Bridge Vs. Implant
The question of how much dental bridges cost generally comes up during a discussion about dental implants. A dental implant is an artificial tooth root that is embedded into the jawbone. At the top of the screw is an abutment to which a dental prosthesis, or false tooth, is then attached. The cost to replace a single tooth with a dental implant ranges from $1600 to $2200 per tooth. The cost for this procedure can be more if a second surgery is required to make the gums ready for the implant. The cost for dental bridge surgery is less.
Dental Bridge Problems
Dental bridges are generally an effective solution for people who have lost some of their teeth. They only require two office visits, and will last over ten years if cared for properly. For a few weeks after treatment, the teeth can be very sensitive to extreme temperatures causing dental bridge pain. In addition, they must be kept clean to avoid a bacterial infection. Should a bridge come loose, you first need to make sure the crowns and the surrounding teeth are thoroughly cleaned. Then replace the crown and bite down gently to make sure it sets properly. Then remove the bridge, fill the crown with dental adhesive, replace the crown or crowns, and bite down again gently. It is still a good idea to see your dentists as soon as possible after your bridge comes loose.
How Long Do Dental Bridges Last?
Even the best dental bridges require good oral hygiene in order to last a long time. The typical useable life of a dental bridge can be from 5 years to 15 years. The average dental bridge should last 10 years if properly cared for. This care includes proper brushing twice daily and flossing. It also means following a proper dental cleaning schedule so that any possible problems can be caught and addressed early. Proper nutrition is also an important factor for the health and maintenance of dental bridges.