To help support a false tooth that fills in a gap, 2 or more crowns are attached to the false tooth (pontic) and then the crowns are placed over teeth surrounding the gap to anchor the false tooth in its new position. The crowns placed on the surrounding teeth are called abutment teeth and they help the false tooth by keeping it in the correct position and increasing its strength when the patient bites. Dental bridges can be made from metals, porcelain, or a combination of materials. The 3 main types of bridges are:
- Traditional bridges are a false tooth (pontic) surrounded on each side by a crown (abutment teeth).
- Cantilever bridges are a false tooth surrounded on one side by 1 or more crowns.
- Maryland bridges, also known as a resin-bonded bridge, are a false tooth supported by wings or framework that is bonded to the natural teeth.
“I recently changed dental offices and was refered to this office. I am very happy with the work and service they provide. Everyone in the office has been great and very helpful.”
– M. / Demandforce / Mar 09, 2011
WHAT TO EXPECT
Preparing and placing a dental bridge usually takes at least 2 appointments at the dentist’s office. During the first visit, the dentist will prepare the abutment teeth by filing them down to make room for the dental crowns. After the teeth are prepared, the dentist will take impressions of the teeth, which will be sent to a dental laboratory where experts will create a bridge, including the pontic and surrounding crowns for the abutment teeth. While the permanent bridge is being created, the dentist will place a temporary bridge over the patient’s teeth for protection. Once the custom-made bridge is returned to the dentist’s office, the dentist will remove the temporary bridge and cement the permanent bridge into place. The dentist will check and adjust the bridge to give the patient their best fit, but the patient may need to return in a few weeks to have their fit and bite re-checked.
Dental bridges can last 5 – 15 years, or longer with proper home came and regular exams and cleanings by the dentist. Patients can keep their bridges and natural teeth healthy by brushing twice a day, flossing, and using an antiseptic mouthwash daily. Patients should make annual dental exams and bi-annual dental cleanings with their dentist to ensure the bridge is clean and in good condition.
A traditional or cantilever bridge starts at $1,500 and can be over $12,000. Maryland bridge is $1,000 – $2,500. Most dental insurance carriers will cover some or part of the cost of the bridge, so the front office will consult with the patient’s insurance to get a better estimate of the patient’s out-of-pocket costs. The cost of the bridge will include the appointments for the impressions and fitting, plus any follow up visits needed to adjust the bite and fit.
FIX SMILE GAPS
If you avoid smiling to hide a gap in your teeth, call our office to schedule a consultation and learn about dental bridges and if they are right for you. Your dentist can tell you if a dental bridge can improve the appearance of your smile and give you a healthier mouth.