What is the typical dental bridge cost in 2022?
If you have a missing tooth, a dental bridge can help fill the gap. As the name suggests, a dental bridge works as a “bridge” that would fill the gaps caused by missing teeth. Installing one allows you to smile, eat, and talk confidently.
But of course, with any dental treatment, the first thing that comes into mind is “How much does it cost?” Because let’s admit it – dental treatment does not come cheap. This is why getting a dental insurance plan is actually a good investment.
In this article, we will discuss how much a dental bridge costs and other important things that you should know about getting a dental bridge.
How much does a dental bridge cost?
There are a lot of factors that have to be considered when it comes to pricing a dental bridge. Some of these factors include the number of missing teeth, materials used, the complexity of placement, location, and additional treatments.
A major factor is what type of bridge you will be getting. Each type of bridge comes with a different price tag. Below, you will find the different types of dental bridges and how much each one could cost you.
Take note that the average price range mentioned below does not include dental insurance coverage. You can get them cheaper with the help of dental insurance.
Traditional dental bridge
The traditional bridge is the most common dental bridge being used to date. The two adjacent teeth of the missing tooth (anchor teeth or abutment teeth) will receive dental crowns to support the fake tooth that goes in between the crowns.
The first appointment when it comes to traditional bridges is all about shaving off some of the enamel and dentin of the abutment teeth or anchor teeth so that they can support crowns. After the shaving, a dental impression will be made out of your teeth, which will be sent to the dental lab so that your traditional bridge will be formed.
On the next appointment, your traditional bridge will be ready. The dentist will double-check if it is a proper fit for the teeth involved before cementing the bridge in place.
There is no fixed price when it comes to a traditional dental bridge because different factors contribute to the total cost. One is how many missing teeth you have and another is what kind of material will the dental bridge be made of (ceramic or porcelain).
To give you a general idea of how much you might spend, a traditional dental bridge involving one missing tooth can cost anywhere between $3000 and $4500.
The Cantilever dental bridge is just like the traditional bridge only that your dentist will work on one anchor tooth or abutment tooth. That one natural tooth will be prepared for a crown. The artificial tooth will then be bonded to that crown.
This is a quick solution but you should know that it is not that stable. Most patients who did the Cantilever bridge often have to watch their bite since you use only one tooth to support the artificial tooth. This is also the reason why it is not a common dental bridge these days.
Since you only have one natural tooth to do dental work on and just one false tooth to make, the fixed Cantilever bridge is considerably cheaper. The general range for a cantilever bridge is around $2000 to $2700.
The Maryland dental bridge needs two anchor or abutment teeth also but unlike a traditional dental bridge, the abutment teeth will not be shaved down to get dental crowns. Instead, the artificial tooth will be mounted on the wireframe and the wireframe will be bonded to the back of the anchor teeth.
They will just etch a little on the backside of your anchor teeth so that the metal wire can bond to it easily. Once the proper fit is made, they will place the dental bridge and then bond the metal wire using a strong resin. Once this is done, the dentist will cure the resin.
The Maryland bridge or the resin bonded bridge is probably the best approach if you are still saving up for a dental implant. The cost for a Maryland bridge ranges between $800 and $2500.
An implant-supported bridge is the option dentists push for those who are missing three teeth in a row. They consider the implant-supported bridge to be more stable and long-lasting given the number of missing teeth that you have.
In this procedure, two implants will act as your abutment teeth. Then, a bridge will be attached to each of the implants. But it will also take months to finish this procedure.
Implant-supported bridges will require surgeries to place the implant on your jawbone. You will be required to take some time to heal before you go on with the next surgery. The time to heal varies depending on where your implants are located or whether your jawbone needs to build up.
Of course, you do not want to go toothless for several weeks so you may ask your dentist to provide a temporary bridge to use in the meantime. When it is time for your next procedure, this is the moment your dentist will place the permanent dental bridge over the implants. This will involve small incisions in the gums so you will need time to heal as well after that.
Given that this is a long-lasting, stable solution, it is no surprise that it is the most expensive dental bridge that you can get. Implants can cost you about $2000 to $3000 each and the bridge cost will be around $300 to $4500.
Pros and cons of dental bridges
- They are significantly more affordable compared to dental implants. It is not an invasive treatment and does not require a lot of work and precision.
- It is a simple process. The majority of the dental bridge types do not require surgery. Dentists will just shave down the teeth to accept crowns or bond something to them.
- It is fast. A dental bridge is a great solution for those who do not want to be caught with lost teeth. You can have one in one or two days and some dentists who have their own dental labs or one nearby would even have one ready for you within the day.
- Dental bridges are more secure than dentures. Bridges are attached to anchor teeth while dentures have to be anchored to gums with a very temporary sealant.
- Getting a dental bridge would mean you have to damage the adjacent teeth for crowns. These would put what could have been healthy, natural teeth in a vulnerable situation. This could put the abutment tooth at a higher risk of developing tooth decay.
- A dental bridge connects the artificial teeth next to each other and the lack of gap between the teeth means they have to function as one. A dental implant will not depend on the other teeth so it looks more like natural teeth.
- A dental bridge is not a permanent solution. You will have to replace them every couple of years – depending on how well you take care of them.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Who needs a dental bridge
A dental bridge can help anyone who has a missing tooth or teeth by providing an artificial tooth to fill the gap, with the participation and help of the adjacent teeth.
The bridge will allow you to talk, smile, and eat comfortably without feeling conscious because nobody will be able to determine that you have missing teeth. This allows you to function normally without being self-conscious about the way you look.
Is getting a dental bridge necessary?
Your teeth work together so if you have one tooth missing, it can affect the way the surrounding teeth or the whole set functions. If you allow the gap to stay, nearby teeth can shift into the empty space causing misaligned teeth. It can eventually lead to chewing difficulties, bite problems, and pain.
A dental bridge helps you restore your smile, chew properly, restore your speech and pronunciation, maintain the shape of your face, restore your bite, and prevent the formation of crooked teeth.
Can anyone get a dental bridge?
Not everyone is a good candidate for a dental bridge. To be considered a good candidate, you will need of course missing permanent teeth, you should have good oral health and overall health, you need to have healthy teeth and a strong bone structure as well.
How long does a dental bridge last?
Dental bridges are considered to be a permanent bridge but only because they are not removable like dentures. But its permanence does not mean it lasts forever.
The average dental bridge usually lasts for five to seven years. It can stretch to a decade if you take care of it properly by practicing good oral hygiene. Also, there are now advances in the materials and methods of making them which can make them more durable and last longer in the future.
The bridge can loosen up and fall if the cement starts to deteriorate. But as long as the supporting teeth beside it are fine, your dentist can easily reattach it with new cement.
Are dental bridges cheaper than dental implants?
Considering the upfront costs, then a dental bridge is cheaper than a dental implant. But if you look at it from a lifetime cost perceptive, the dental bridge will be far more expensive.
This is because a dental implant is permanent. You do not need to go to the dental office several times for it. A dental bridge however needs to be replaced every 5 to 10 years depending on how well you take care of it. There is also the risk that the bridge may fall off and you would have to make a dental visit to reattach them or replace them.
If you are on a tight budget and you need a quick fix, a dental bridge can be a good choice. But if you can afford a dental implant, it would be a better investment of your money. You can also go with a dental bridge first while you are saving up for a dental implant.
An implant-supported bridge can give you the best of both worlds if you want both as a dental bridge procedure. An implant supported dental bridge would also cost cheaper compared to getting multiple implants.
Can I get a dental bridge right after tooth extraction?
Most dental professionals would prefer that you wait for a few weeks. This will give the extracted site and the area around the jawbone time to completely heal. But there are some cases where a bridge can be fitted right after your teeth are extracted. You will have to trust your dentist which would work best for you.
Does it hurt to get a dental bridge?
It does not usually hurt to get a dental bridge. Dentists often use a local anesthetic to numb the area before they start the treatment. In the end, you will feel no pain at all as the dental bridge is being installed.
In the first few days after the dental bridge is installed, some patients would experience some sensitivity in their teeth – especially when eating hot or cold foods. If this happens to you, you can use toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth. But there is no cause to panic. The sensitivity usually wears off after a few days.
Some patients also may feel uncomfortable at first because they are not used to the feeling of having the dental bridge in their mouth. But that will be gone in a few days too as you get used to having a dental bridge. If the bite still seems off after several weeks, you should see your dentist. It is possible that you have an ill-fitting dental bridge or it is placed incorrectly.
Are there any dietary restrictions when I get a dental bridge?
Once you have a dental bridge on, some foods should be avoided long-term because they can cause problems on your bridge and your anchor teeth.
You should avoid the following food items:
- Sticky and chewy candy since they can pull the crowns off from the anchor teeth and you would have to visit the dentist to reattach them.
- Hard candy or food can chip your dental bridge and in some cases, can crack or loosen up the dental cement that holds the bridge.
- Sugary foods can cause tooth decay to form under the crowns.
- Popcorn and nuts since they can easily get stuck in between the teeth and your bridge and gums.
Remember, your tooth bridges will not be as strong or durable as your natural teeth so you should treat them with care.
How many missing teeth can a dental bridge accommodate?
A dental bridge can replace anywhere from one to four teeth. In some rare cases, a bridge can replace more teeth than four but this is very rare. One thing is for sure – there must be enough natural and healthy teeth present in the mouth to support the teeth bridge.
A tooth bridge works best if you are replacing one to two teeth. You should know though that the larger the dental bridge, the less stable it will be. So, although it is possible to do so, it can also be risky and more expensive in the long run.
What other options do I have aside from a dental bridge for a missing tooth?
If you think a tooth bridge is not good for you, you can choose to go with partial dentures, which are removable false teeth. You can take them out any time so you can clean them easily.
Another option that you can use instead of dental bridges is to go for dental implants. This is a more expensive option since the implant is surgically placed in your jaw. Over time, the implant will be able to integrate with your jawbone.
Missing teeth is a very common dental problem. A missing tooth can make a significant effect on your appearance and the oral functions of your teeth. It can also give you difficulty in talking, severe decay, and periodontal diseases.
When it comes to artificial tooth replacement or the need to replace missing teeth, the American Dental Association recognizes dental bridges as a suitable dental treatment. No matter what type of bridge you are aiming for, it will surely be a great fix to replacing missing teeth and making sure your remaining teeth will not be prone to dental issues like gum disease.
Dental bridges are a very common solution for people who have missing teeth. Dentists have been using them for years so you do not really have to seek out a specialist to get one. As you can see from the discussion above, dental bridges can do a lot of good for you.