Next, Is a dental bridge right for you?
Dental bridges are a great option for many people. If you are missing one or two teeth right next to each other then a dental bridge may be a good option for you. With the advent of implants the number of bridges being done is significantly less than previous years. However, there are still many times when a bridge will be the best choice for your mouth.
“What is a dental bridge?”
A bridge, also known as a fixed partial denture, is a dental restoration used to replace one or more missing teeth by joining permanently to adjacent teeth. A bridge is fabricated by reducing the teeth on either side of the missing tooth or teeth by .5-2mm, depending on side or top of tooth and what material is going to be used to make the bridge. The materials that we use for a bridge include gold, porcelain fused to metal, or porcelain alone.
What is the procedure or steps to get a bridge?
This is typically a 2-3 visit procedure. The first visit lasts about 1-2 hours. The first visit we will numb the area then reduce the teeth next to the missing tooth. We will reduce the teeth with a dental bur by .5-2mm. Next, we will make an impression of the area to send to a dental lab to make the dental bridge. We will fabricate a temporary plastic version of the dental bridge and you will wear that for several weeks. The second visit will be to either try in part of the dental bridge or you will get the bridge. This visit is usually about 1/2 hour. If you need a third visit it will be for about 1/2 hour.
What is the cost of a dental bridge?
The fee to complete a 3 tooth dental bridge (like the one in the diagram above) is around $5000 in our office in 2021. Things that can add to the cost are the teeth next to the empty space needing additional work. Typically those extra things are a build up or a root canal. Typically we do not know for 100% certainty if you need these things until we get into doing the work. A build up cost about $400 per tooth and a root canal runs $900-1500 depending on the tooth. We usually quote the build up fee with the dental bridge fee but do not quote the root canal fee. The reason for that is that the build up is somewhat common (maybe a 1/3 of the teeth), but the root canal is fairly rare.
We recommend people use this fee estimator site that will give you the average fee of a dental code for your zip code. The codes you will want to look up for a dental bridge are……..
How you can determine your cost using above link and dental codes. The first 2 codes you will need
- D6752 is the part of the bridge that attaches to a tooth. You usually need two of these
- D6242 is the part of the bridge that is spanning the missing space.
- If you need – D2950 is the build up for a tooth that has bad decay or is broken
- If you need – D3310 D3320 D3330 are the root canal codes we may use
Bridge vs dental implant
I have an entire blog post on comparing these two but patient age, amount of bone, and condition of the teeth next to the space are three biggest factors we look at. Some people may decide that they want a bridge over an implant. Typically, we see this when someone has a previous bad experience with a dental implant. This is the case of a failed dental implant.
Dental bridge vs partial denture
If you are only missing one tooth then a dental bridge is a better option over a partial denture. If you have multiple missing teeth or have multiple teeth that are about to be gone then a partial denture may make more sense. A partial denture is often a great choice for older individuals. First of they simply do not need it to last as long. Secondly, they are starting to get more decay due to their saliva drying up and medications that may be drying their mouth out. They are also cheaper, especially when treating multiple missing areas.
What is the ideal material for a dental bridge?
Porcelain fused to metal has been the standard for decades. Zirconia is the newest material that is becoming a favorite but may still have issues with chipping. Rammelsberg JPD 2021 finds as long as partial veneer coverage or monolithic zirconia will have chipping comparable to traditional materials.