Large gaps and spaces left behind by missing teeth can have a serious negative impact on your smile. For those missing a row of teeth, dental bridges are an excellent treatment option.
These dental prosthetics literally bridge any gaps left in your mouth between any two teeth. You may require these after you suffered direct trauma to a tooth or after premature tooth loss due to a severe infection related to gum disease or periodontal disease. If you had to get a root canal or an emergency tooth extraction, you might require a replacement tooth. Regardless of the reason why you look for one, a dental bridge can make your smile complete once more.
Before pursuing this type of treatment, it is important to understand the treatment process as well as the costs associated with it. Here, Dr. Luminita Markham discusses a few key factors that can affect dental bridge costs at Maidu Dental.
Number of Teeth That Require Replacing
As you might expect, the cost of the types of bridges you choose will be directly influenced by how many teeth you need to replace. For example, a patient who is only missing a single tooth will pay less than someone who needs to replace a row of three teeth. Because a longer bridge requires more materials, those fees will show up on the bottom line.
Materials Used for the Dental Bridges
As with many other resources in dental health and restorative dentistry, manufacturers can use a variety of materials to create these bridges, including zirconia, all-ceramic, or porcelain-fused-to-metal. The type of material you choose can have an effect on how much you will need to pay.
Keep in mind that while zirconia, porcelain, and similar materials cost more, they offer the most aesthetically pleasing results. These materials mimic the translucency of natural teeth for a lifelike appearance. While they may have been infamous when they were first released due to their fragility, this alternative is now much stronger, so make sure you ask your favorite dentist about options made using porcelain materials.
Metal alloys will always be the cheapest option when it comes to dentistry. They also are the most reliable alternative but are undoubtedly highly visible. As such, the most common types of dental prostheses will leverage these materials to provide you with affordable options even insurance companies accept.
There are two primary methods of dental crown and traditional bridge fabrication. They can be made in-house or at a dental lab. Traditionally, we would send impressions to a dental lab for the creation of your new restoration. Well, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right? We still use this tried-and-true method today.
At Maidu Dental, we also use revolutionary CAD/CAM technology for qualifying patients. This system takes impressions of your teeth and is used to fabricate a crown or bridge chairside while you wait. Not only is this more convenient for patients, but it is also typically less expensive than a restoration crafted at a dental laboratory. By cutting our lab fees, we can pass the saving on to you!
Type of Dental Bridges
There are several different types of dental bridges available. For example, in addition to traditional bridges, there are also:
- Maryland bridges: These restorations, sometimes used to replace missing front teeth, do not require the reduction of natural tooth structure. Rather than being cemented onto the adjacent teeth, Maryland bridges get bonded to the backs of the neighboring teeth with resin wings.
- Cantilever bridges: a dental health professional can place a cantilever bridge to help minimize the alteration of natural tooth structure. While a conventional bridge rests on two adjacent teeth, this restoration only rests on one, while the artificial tooth “hangs over” the empty space to complete your smile. However, you will not hear many dentists recommending this type of bridge to replace back teeth.
- Implant-supported bridges: More and more patients are choosing implant-supported restorations for long-term results. An implant-supported bridge is attached to dental implants instead of the neighboring teeth. This prevents the alteration of natural tooth structure and also helps prevent future bone loss in the area. While implant-supported bridges are more expensive than their conventional counterparts, they offer a lifetime of use with proper care.
Education, Experience, and Location of Dentist
Typically, services offered by experienced dentists are more expensive than those performed by recent dental school graduates. Additionally, the geographical location can affect dental bridge costs. In general, practices in metropolitan cities charge more than those in rural areas.
What Can I Do To Keep Additional Costs Down?
We’re glad you asked. Generally speaking, the area where you can do a lot to keep costs down is aftercare. Make sure you talk with your dentist about pricing alternatives and financial resources at your disposal to lower out-of-pocket costs.
Still, what we will always recommend is you watch out for your dental hygiene and dietary restrictions to avoid additional damage and requiring more treatments that will cost you money and time. Generally speaking, you should stay away from sticky or hard foods and ice cubes. Also, remember to rinse your mouth with mouthwash and floss under the bridge to avoid plaque buildup.
Contact Us To Learn More About Your Dental Bridge Cost
When you decide on a dental bridge, you will have to come to the office for an initial consultation, where we will prepare the work required for the installation. You will probably receive a temporary bridge. We will place the temporary bridge for a permanent one in a follow-up visit, and you’ll have a full smile once more!
Curious about an estimated dental bridge cost? Find out more by scheduling an appointment at our Auburn, CA, practice. We can help review what your dental insurance covers and develop a treatment plan that meets your needs and budget. Call us at 530-823-8771.