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Deconstructing Dental Bridge Costs

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Key Takeaways:

  • Dental bridges come in various styles and materials.
  • A patient’s choice in those factors strongly determines the final cost.
  • Some dental bridge procedures will be more complex, requiring greater time and expense.
  • Bridges have pros and cons and will require diligent maintenance.

Dental bridges can provide an effective, long-lasting solution for any patient missing one or more teeth by replacing them with pontics (artificial teeth). A well-fitted bridge allows for unimpeded speech and eating and can also be instrumental in restoring a patient’s confidence in their appearance.

Many people are unaware of the principal factors in dental bridge expenses, which may be preventing them from seeking further advice or choosing to have one fitted. There is no such thing as a universal cost, just as there is no “one size fits all” appliance. The final figure is always based on the individual patient’s body and budget.

This guide will discuss how your dentist arrives at a dental bridge cost estimate by considering all the contributing factors, including the materials used, the complexity of the procedure, and calculating how much of the expense will be covered by an insurance plan.

Defining Dental Bridges

Dental bridges can be either removable or fixed, though the creation procedure is similar for both. A dental impression is taken to create a temporary and then a more permanent bridge is produced, which is commonly fitted using crowns attached to existing teeth on either side of the gap(s).

Removable bridges typically cost less than permanent ones. Another factor in a dental bridge cost estimate is the style of the device. Here are three basic types in escalating order of expense:

-Cantilever and Traditional Bridges

Traditionals are the most common type, fitted to two teeth on either side of a gap. Cantilevers are similar in style; the difference is that they are only supported by one tooth.

-Implant Supports

This is a more time-consuming and labor-intensive procedure that provides a very secure bridge. It may be applied using implants for each missing tooth rather than crowns, although crown-supported pontics may be necessary for some patients.

-Maryland Bridges

A pontic that is secured using a porcelain or metal framework bonded to two supporting teeth. No tooth filing is required with this method.

Your dentist will know the most comfortable type based on your needs by considering how well your current teeth will support it. The next financial steps will determine how much the final quote is when bridge work is complete and about how much you can expect to pay in the years ahead.

The 5 Biggest Factors in Dental Bridge Costs

How cost-effective your dental bridge will be is primarily decided by how much you’re willing to invest in it. Low-quality work and materials will almost certainly end up costing you more down the road. Here are how the price considerations essentially break down in a dental bridge cost estimate:

1. The Number of Artificial Teeth Required to Fill the Gap

Expense increases with the number of replacement teeth the device creates. A 2-unit dental bridge cost will be lower than a 3-tooth implant bridge cost, and so forth. Some patients may require as much as a 4-unit or 6-unit bridge.

2. Type of Materials

Metal alloys, ceramics, porcelain, and acrylics can all be used. Some are less costly than others, although the most expensive materials are not always the most cost-effective in the long term. Read our drawbacks section for more on this.

3. More Complex Dental Work May Be Necessary

Some patients require gum disease treatment prior to bridging. Some require a particularly difficult device placement, while others must undergo a root canal. Any of these extend procedure time and expense.

4. The Insurance Factor

Our earlier blog on the pros and cons of dental implants vs. bridges highlighted how effective a dental plan can be in reducing expenses. A dental bridge cost with insurance could be offset by as much as 50%. A dental bridge cost without insurance, conversely, could amount to $3300 for a single tooth.

5. Present and Future Care Costs

Bridges will eventually have to be tightened and replaced. How quickly the need for maintenance occurs depends on the dentist’s skill and the patient’s initiative. A well-fitted device with diligent upkeep can last a decade or more before replacement cost becomes a factor.

A good dentist will make every part of the pricing process transparent so their patients can budget effectively and won’t receive any unpleasant financial surprises. You should also ask your dentist about any potential downsides associated with the type of dental bridge they recommend.

Financial and Cosmetic Drawbacks with Dental Bridges

No dental procedure is foolproof, nor are they guaranteed forever. Dental bridges have pros and cons based on design, materials, and the patient’s commitment to maintenance:

  • Frames may impede the bite or aggravate gums. 
  • Some bridges require the stripping of enamel from surrounding teeth, requiring permanent protection from crowns.
  • Replacing molars can present difficulties for some bridge types, such as the Maryland style.
  • Metal devices are the least cosmetically attractive.
  • More natural and expensive bridge materials have the disadvantage of greater fragility, and they don’t last as long as their metal counterparts. This increases the odds of paying for repair or replacement.

Always ask your dentist about any potential weaknesses your chosen bridge type has. It is you who must live with the bridge every day, so choose only the best appliance – and the best dental team – possible!

Contact Our Experts with Any Dental Bridge Questions

The Dental Team can help you choose the most comfortable and cost-effective bridge by discussing all associated factors. We pay special attention to going over dental plans with our patients, so they know what will be covered before moving forward with any form of treatment.

We have ten dental offices located in Brampton, Milton, Mississauga, and Vaughan/Maple, so feel free to visit us to learn more. You can also contact us or call (844) 604-1492 direct and we’ll be happy to help.

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