Statistics show that 69% of American adults have experienced at least one missing tooth by the age of 44. It needs to be fixed whether this comes from a failed root canal, an accident, gum disease, or tooth decay.
When it comes to replacing lost teeth, dental bridges are one of the most common solutions. But what scared people off is the dental bridge cost. Yes, a dental bridge could be a little expensive but there are ways by which you can cut the cost.
If you have gaps between your teeth, fixing them before it gets too late is a crucial thing to do. This article will give an overview of dental bridge costs and what to expect when you go for the procedure.
Factors That Determine the Cost of a Dental Bridge
A dental bridge is a common but critical treatment for missing teeth that holds your other teeth in place to help restore your bite as well as your confidence. Different bridges require different procedures which of course translate to varying costs. Here are the lists of things that determine the cost of a dental bridge.
- Material Used For Dental Bridge – The material you use for your dental bridge has a great influence on dental bridge cost. Some of the high-end materials such as zirconia and porcelain will cost more than the typical all-ceramic dental bridge.
- Bridge Manufacturing Method – A bridge can be manufactured either in-house or at a dental lab. A dental bridge that is manufactured at a dental lab will cost much higher than that is made in-house. Most dental clinics don’t have an in-house manufacturing unit. For that reason, when you select a dental clinic look for the facilities they provide.
- Type of Dental Bridge – We will be discussing different types of bridges in the latter part of the article. For now, understand that a dental bridge cost is also greatly affected by the types of bridge.
- The Complexity of the Placement – If you have unhealthy adjacent teeth, the need for implants, gaps in different areas of the teeth, and so on, all of this will add to the complexity and cost of treatment. The more the complexity in placing the dental bridge, the more it will cost.
- Education, Experience, and Location of Dentist – Typically, services offered by experienced dentists are more expensive than those performed by recent dental school graduates. But at the end of the day, it’s worth getting the treatment from an experienced dentist.
- Your Oral Health – If the patient is suffering from gum ailments or he has other types of oral health issues, then the dental expert will try to treat them before placing a dental bridge. These individual initial treatments are necessary to ensure the overall good health of your mouth. The cost of these treatments should be included in your dental bridge.
The Cost of a Dental Bridge Based on Types
A dental bridge is a prosthetic tooth used to fill a gap left after a tooth has been lost or extracted from the jaw. A bridge only replaces the crown, which is the visible portion of the tooth above the gum line. Some bridges replace just one tooth, while others replace several.
Depending on how complex your damage is and the need for a procedure, a dental bridge can be categorized into four types. Each procedure is unique and comes with different dental bridge costs. Here is the national average for each type of dental bridge:
1. Traditional Bridge: A traditional dental bridge is the most common type of bridge used today and is typically made of ceramic or porcelain-fused to metal. Traditional Bridges are strong enough to replace molars, yet require adding dental crowns to adjacent teeth, which is irreversible. Traditional bridge ranges from $2,000-$5,000 if treatment requires only one pontic and a crown on each adjacent tooth.
2. Cantilever Bridge: Cantilever bridges are similar to traditional bridges but they are not strong enough. But, the best part is it only requires one natural tooth to anchor the bridge. This bridge has a nearly identical price range to traditional bridges but may cost a bit less due to the one less crown needed. The price range for a cantilever bridge will be around $1000 to $4000.
3. Maryland Bridge: Maryland bridges function similar to a traditional bridge, but these procedures don’t require a crown. Maryland uses metal or porcelain bands to bind a fake tooth to the back of adjacent, natural teeth. This type of bridge is less expensive, typically costing $1,500-$2,500 for a pontic and the metal or ceramic framework that supports it.
4. Implant-Supported Bridge: An implant-supported bridge also functions as a traditional bridge but uses dental implants in place of crowns or frameworks. If you have 3 missing teeth in a row, two implants will be needed to attach a bridge to each of the implants. The dental bridge cost for implant-supported bridge is determined by the number of teeth missing. It can cost anywhere from $5,000-$15,000 depending on how many pontics and implants are called for.
The Cost of Dental Bridges Based on Insurance Coverage
Dental bridge cost depends on how many teeth will become part of the bridge and the materials used. In this section, we break down the cost of a dental bridge with and without insurance coverage.
- Dental Bridge Cost With Insurance – Each dental insurance plan is different, most of them cover 50% or 80% of the tooth replacement treatment. Some plans will cover the treatment cost but limit the lab portion. Others may pay only for the crown or bridge. It all depends on your insurance plan. It’s best to take advice from your dentist.
To give an example, if your insurance covers 50% of dental bridges on the current fee guide, and your 3 unit bridge treatment cost is $3,000.00, you can expect insurance to pay 1,500.00. Your 50% portion is also $1,500. You can pay the full $1,500 in a single payment, or choose a monthly payment plan.
Your cost of a dental bridge will be significantly less with insurance coverage. However, always read your dental insurance policy carefully. Some providers have sections that state that the patient must use the plan for a certain amount of time before receiving dental bridge treatment. Typically, this may be around two years.
- Cost Without Insurance – If your health insurance does not include dental coverage or you do not use your dentist’s in-office insurance plan, you will be responsible for 100% of the cost of your dental bridge.
The Cost of Dental Bridge Alternatives
Dental bridges are a good option for tooth replacement but that’s not the only option. Here are common alternatives to dental bridges that may be a better solution for you:
Bridge vs. Implant Cost – Dental implants are the most expensive treatment for tooth restoration but if you’re looking to replace only one tooth, an implant will cost roughly the same as the traditional bridge.
On top of that, dental implants can be a lifelong investment but in the case of the bridge, you’ll need to replace them every 5 to 10 years. Now, you decide which treatment is better for you.
Bridge vs. Crown Cost – Crowns are used for more specific types of problems. This treatment can be the best alternative only if you have a chipped or cracked tooth. Crowns go on top of your natural tooth, somewhat like a protective shield.
When you can treat your tooth with a less expensive procedure, why opt for a higher dental bridge cost? The cost of a crown is quite a bit lower than that of a bridge, ranging from $600-$1,500.
Bridges vs. Partial Dentures Cost – Partial dentures can be used in place of a bridge but they have the potential to damage the adjacent teeth. You should opt for partial denture over a bridge only if your adjacent teeth are strong enough to support it. It could cost anywhere from $650 and $2,500 depending on the need.
FAQs on the Cost of Dental Bridges