Prices and costs are changing in dentistry. Dental bridge treatment seems to be getting more expensive all across the nation. Many patients often think about what the cost of dental bridges will be in the 2020s. How will insurance coverage and plans help my family pay for such an expensive treatment? This is a very important question because it is important to get dental bridges for a variety of reasons. Moving forward, the average cost of a dental bridge is $3,000. This is for a 3-unit dental bridge. Prices can range between $2,500-$15,000 depending on the dentist that is performing the procedure, the length of time the treatment takes, and the number of teeth that are being replaced.
Dental bridges are the backbone of dentistry. They have helped form the foundation of teeth replacement care for over 5 decades now. As dental implants have taken off, many have claimed that dental bridges have taken a backseat to permanent teeth replacement options. But there are still many instances where dental bridges are advantageous over implants. Below we will discuss the many benefits of dental bridges, and go over the some of the commonly asked questions that our patients ask about them. If you are in need of a dental bridge in the greater Houston, TX area come visit our expert team today.
Factors determining dental bridge costs
There are a variety of factors that can determine the price of a dental bridge:
The length of your dental bridge
Perhaps the number one determining factor when it comes to dental bridge costs is how long the span of the dental bridge is. The more teeth that need to be replaced, the longer the bridge will be, and the more costly the treatment ends up being. A typical 3-unit bridge costs around $3,000. That is to replace one tooth. Expect to add $1,000 for each additional tooth (pontic) that needs to be added to the bridge if more than one tooth needs to be replaced.
The complexity of your dental bridge procedure
Another determining factor when it comes to dental bridge pricing is how complex and difficult the treatment ends up being. Some cases are simpler than others depending on the number of teeth that have to be replaced, and how much of a change we need to make to the patient’s function and bite. A highly qualified cosmetic dentist needs to study the case very carefully, as treatment planning is probably the most important step in getting your dental bridge treatment done properly. Choosing just any dentist may lead to a non-functional bite and open margins that can lead to a number of problems inside your mouth.
The type of material your bridge is made of
The type of material is bridge is made out of also is a factor in the costs. Porcelain and Gold Bridges will typically cost more than bridges that are made out of a noble metal. Since precious metals like Gold continue to move higher in price, the cost of fabrication of gold bridges have also climbed. Most patients prefer the use of Porcelain for their bridges as they are more cosmetic in nature.
Your geographic location
Dental bridges tend to be more expensive in certain locations in the country. Dentists in larger metropolitan cities like Houston and Los Angeles will likely charge more for a dental bridge than a dentist in a small town.
What is the cost of a typical 3-tooth dental bridge?
The average cost of a 3-tooth dental bridge is $3,000. As we had mentioned earlier, the type of material and the treating dentist can ultimately determine the final cost of the bridge. Expect to pay an additional $1,000 for every unit that needs to be added to the bridge (so a 4-unit dental bridge would likely cost $4,000). Those with dental insurance will end up paying less out of pocket expenses for their bridges versus those that do not carry insurance.
Does my dental insurance plan cover dental bridges?
Your dental insurance plan is certainly going to help you with the burden of the costs when it comes to getting your dental bridge. There are many plans out there when it comes to dental insurance. Some may cover only a portion of your bridge treatment while other may only cover all of it. Check with your dentist to see exactly what your plan covers, and what your out of pocket expenses will be. Many times, the prices that you pay alongside your insurance plan are much lower than what you would have to pay if you did not have the insurance to begin with.
Dental bridges in the greater Houston, TX area
If you are needing a dental bridge, and happen to be in the greater Houston area, come see our team of bridge specialists today. We offer different payment plans, financing options, and monthly specials. You can also find our specials by following us on Facebook. We hope to see you soon!
Other Frequently Asked Questions About Dental Bridges
What are some advantages of dental bridges?
- Dental bridges can help fix teeth adjacent to your missing space if those teeth have worn down or decayed.
- They give you a fixed tooth replacement option.
- They can be less costly than dental implants
- They can made to restore your missing teeth in a matter of weeks versus implants that can take many months to integrate with your bone tissue.
- Can be used when a dental implant is contraindicated for use (see below).
What are some disadvantages of dental bridges?
- Healthy adjacent teeth will need to be removed or ground down in order to make the tooth bridge.
- Supporting abutment teeth may decay or break leading to dental bridge failure.
- If not correctly fabricated, bridges can alter the way your bite causing a myriad of chewing problems.
- Can be costly at some cosmetic dental offices.
Can Dental Bridges be whitened?
No they cannot. Dental bridges are typically made out of a Porcelain matrix that cannot be whitened. If you want your bridge to be whiter, you will need your dentist to completely replace the bridge for you.
Are Dental Bridges permanent?
Yes they are. They cannot be removed after they are cemented into place. A special dental cement is used and these are permanent replacement options for your missing teeth.
How long do Dental Bridges last?
This will ultimately depend on the quality of the dental work done inside your mouth and how well you take care of your dental bridge. Brushing and flossing will be critical to make sure your teeth under the bridge remain healthy and don’t cavitate. Most dental bridges last anywhere between 10-15 years with Gold bridges, on average, lasting the longest.
How many teeth can be on a dental bridge?
At Best Dental, we have seen cases where the entire arch is used to construct a single dental bridge. This is not recommended in our professional opinion. Long span bridges have a shorter life span than a shorter bridge due to the fact that too much force is placed on them over time. It may be prudent to seek a second opinion if your dentist is recommending longer span bridges.
Are Dental Bridges better than Dental Implants?
In a perfect world, dental implants would be the ideal option to replace missing teeth. But there are many instances where a dental implant can’t be placed (small area, missing bone, etc), and dental bridges can help restore the missing area. The following is a list where a dental bridge would be a preferred option over a dental implant:
- Patients with osteoporosis: These patients typically are on bisphosphonate medications which can delay or even prevent the healing process once a dental implant is placed.
- Patients of osteosarcoma: Patients with bone cancers will also likely be on medications that will prevent proper healing if a tooth extraction or a dental implant procedure is performed.
- Patients with bone loss: After teeth are removed, alveolar bone surrounding that tooth will begin to collapse. Over time, more bone will be lost. If enough bone vanishes then there won’t be enough osseous tissue there to hold onto a dental implant. In these cases a dental bridge can be your tooth replacement option, or a dental bone graft will first be recommended by your dentist.
Implants are the preferable option if the teeth that will act as anchors for the bridge are too short. This will cause your dental bridge to continuously fall off.
See Also: Dental Implants VS Dental Bridges
Does food get stuck underneath your dental bridge?
Food can definitely get trapped under the pontic of a dental bridge. A floss threader or a waterpik need to be used on a daily basis to keep the dental bridge clean. This will prevent any underlying problems from occuring in the future.
Are dental bridges the best way to replace missing teeth?
At Best Dental, we prefer the use of dental implants over dental bridges to replace missing teeth. But, as we saw earlier, there are many cases where dental bridges are preferred over implants as a fixed replacement option. If done properly, dental bridges can last as long as an implant, although some healthy adjacent tooth structure may need to be shaved down in order to construct the final restoration.
What are the different types of Dental Bridges?
- Traditional Dental Bridge – This type of bridge uses two adjacent teeth next to the space to serve as anchors or abutments to hold a false tooth in place. This false tooth is also known as a pontic. This is the most popular type of bridge, and is used by the majority dentists in and around Houston.
- Cantilever Bridge – This type of dental bridge is very similar to a traditional bridge, but the pontic (fake tooth) is supported by an anchor tooth on only one side, rather than on both sides. So if there’s only one natural tooth next to the gap, a bridge can still be secured. This types of bridges are a lot of times not recommended by to their high susceptibility of fracture.
- Maryland Bridge – These are bridges that help preserve adjacent tooth structure while giving you a permanent tooth replacement in the missing area. In general, a maryland bridge is less costly than traditional bridges, and less tooth reduction is needed to construct them. Their downside is that they can’t handle strong forces as well as a regular bridge, and are usually made when a front tooth is missing.
- Implant Secured Dental Bridge – These implant bridges replace your missing teeth by the use of dental implants. This affordable option helps you save money as you do not have to place a dental implant in each and every area where you have missing teeth.