Statistics show that 69% of American adults have experienced at least one missing tooth by the age of 44.
When it comes to replacing missing teeth, dental bridges are one of the most common solutions. Typically, what scares people off is the cost of a dental bridge.
Yes, a dental bridge procedure could be a little expensive but there are ways by which you can cut the cost.
Your dental bridge cost will depend on the material used and the type of bridge chosen, as well as your dentist’s fees for consultations, fitting, etc.
Your local clinic can probably give you an idea of prices prior to a consultation, either by phone or on their website.
6 Factors That Determine the Cost of a Dental Bridge
A dental bridge is a common but critical treatment for missing teeth. A bridge holds your other teeth in place to help restore your bite as well as your confidence. Different bridges can require different procedures which of course translate to varying costs.
Here are the lists of things that determine the dental bridge cost:
1. Material Used – The material you use for your bridge has a great influence on the cost. Some of the high-end materials such as zirconia and porcelain will cost more than the typical all-ceramic dental bridge.
2. Manufacturing Method – A dental bridge made at a dental lab will cost more than one that is made in the clinics manufacturing unit.
3. Type of Bridge – We will be discussing different types of bridges in the latter part of the article. For now, understand that the cost of a dental bridge is also greatly affected by the types of bridge.
4. Complexity of Placement – If you have unhealthy adjacent teeth or need implants, this will add to the complexity and cost of treatment. The more complexity the more it will cost.
5. Education, Experience, & Location of Dentist – Typically, services offered by experienced dentists are more expensive than those performed by recent dental school graduates.
6. Your Overall Oral Health – If you are suffering from gum ailments or have other types of oral health issues, then the dentist will try to treat those issues before placing a dental bridge. These initial treatments are necessary to ensure the overall health of your mouth.
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, the cost of a dental bridge can be categorized into four types.
Each procedure is unique and comes with different cost.
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 bridges range from $2,000 to $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 as strong. The perk is they only require 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 $1,000 to $4,000.
3. Maryland Bridge
Maryland bridges function similar to a traditional bridge, but these don’t require a crown.
Maryland bridges use 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 to $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 cost for an implant-supported bridge is determined by the number of teeth missing. It can cost anywhere from $5,000 to $15,000 depending on how many pontics and implants are called for.
The Cost of Dental Bridges Based on Insurance Coverage
The cost of a dental bridge also depends on how many teeth will become part of the bridge and the materials used. Some parts of the procedure can be covered by your insurance.
Check with your insurance provider if they cover the cost of a dental bridge.
- 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.
To give an example, if your insurance covers 50% of the cost of your dental bridge, and your 3-unit bridge treatment cost $3,000, 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.
The cost 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 coverage. 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 dental bridge cost.
The Cost of Dental Bridge Alternatives
Dental bridges are not the only solution for missing teeth.
Here are common alternatives to dental bridges that may be a better solution for you:
Bridge vs. Implant – 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.
Bridge vs. Crown – Crowns are used for more specific types of problems. This treatment can be the best alternative only if you have a chipped or cracked teeth. 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 to $1,500.
Bridges vs. Partial Dentures – 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 your need.
FAQs on the Cost of Dental Bridges