What Is a Dental Bridge?

A dental bridge is a fixed (traditional), resin-bonded, or implant-secured restoration designed to replace a missing tooth or series of teeth with functional, natural-looking results. Filling a gap left by a missing tooth or adjacent teeth with a dental bridge not only provides cosmetic benefits, but it can also help prevent teeth from shifting, maintain a proper bite, and resolve difficulties with speaking and chewing.

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Who Is a Candidate for a Dental Bridge?

In general, candidates for a dental bridge are missing one or more teeth consecutively and have healthy teeth on either side of each missing tooth. Otherwise, candidates should have good overall oral health and hygiene, as healthy gums are crucial for the success of the bridge.

During your initial appointment at our practice, your prosthodontist will:

Your prosthodontist will take the time to explain the benefits and drawbacks of each potential option. From there, we will work with you to develop a customized plan to improve your comprehensive oral health.

What Are the Different Types of Dental Bridges?

Custom dental bridges can be designed several different ways and composed of a variety of materials, based on the individual’s dental concerns and priorities. Our board-certified prosthodontists at Schweitzer & Schweitzer, PC, use traditional and state-of-the-art techniques for evaluating patients’ needs and creating bridges that look natural and function optimally. Since the dental lab we use is located within our office, your prosthodontist will have the opportunity to work together closely with our master ceramist to ensure every detail of the bridge is constructed according to plan and achieves a precise fit. The full range of dental bridges we offer include:

Our prosthodontists will always recommend the type of bridge and material that is well suited for your budget, the nature and location of your dental concern, and your personal preferences regarding the aesthetics and durability of your restoration.

During your initial appointment at our practice, your prosthodontist will:

Your prosthodontist will take the time to explain the benefits and drawbacks of each bridge option to help you make the most educated decision about your dental work. We can also assist you in finding out which types of bridges your dental insurance covers to keep treatment within your budget.

What Does the Dental Bridge Procedure Involve?

A traditional bridge is composed of two dental crowns with a replacement tooth (or replacement teeth) fused between them to “bridge” the gap left by the missing tooth (or teeth). The procedure for placing this type of bridge begins with injections of local anesthetic followed by preparation of the teeth adjacent to the gap. Once the teeth have been prepared, an impression or digital scan is taken of the area so that the bridge can be designed. Temporary restorations are placed to protect the teeth until the final bridge is complete. The custom design, chosen materials, and other details about the bridge are passed along to our on-site dental lab for fabrication. If you are a candidate for a same-day traditional bridge, we can use our state-of-the-art 3Shape® machine to create your bridge within the span of one appointment.

Once your final bridge has been crafted, you will come in to have your bridge fitted and firmly cemented in place. If there are any necessary adjustments, most minor changes can be made quickly in our on-site lab. A short discussion between your prosthodontist and our ceramist can help ensure clear directives for any revisions. When the proper appearance, fit, and bite have been achieved, your bridge will be cemented in place to finish the procedure. The entire process can take anywhere from two to five weeks depending on the type of bridge you are receiving. Multiple visits are required to complete the procedure with the precision and quality results our practice is known for.

What Is an Implant Bridge?

An implant bridge is designed to serve the same purpose as a traditional bridge: to fill gaps between teeth and restore proper function and aesthetics. That being said, an implant bridge is supported by dental implants – or titanium posts that are surgically placed into the jawbone. This type of restoration can offer many benefits associated with dental implants, such as excellent stability, long-lasting results, and even jawbone preservation.*

While implant bridges are the best option for many of our patients, others may be better suited for traditional bridges. For example, a traditional bridge may be the right choice if you lack the bone density necessary to support implants, or if you would prefer a less lengthy or intensive procedure. In any case, our dentists can help you weigh all of your options after we examine your oral health and discuss your preferences and needs.

How Long Do Dental Bridges Last?

The lifespan of your dental bridge is mainly determined by the type of bridge it is, as well as the material and process that was used to fabricate it. While some bridges may not ever need to be replaced, others—such as those made of less durable materials—may last ten years or less. During your consultation, your prosthodontist will provide you with an accurate estimate of how long your bridge may last under optimal conditions. It is also essential that you take proper care of your bridge by practicing excellent oral hygiene, which can encourage a long lifespan.

We are proud to offer dental bridges crafted with some of the most durable and aesthetically pleasing materials available, including e.max® and zirconia, which represent the latest advancements in state-of-the-art ceramics. In addition, our prosthodontists’ experience and years of additional training – combined with the skill of our ceramists – often make for longer-lasting restorations than you might receive from a typical dentist. Without a proper fit or bite, even a bridge made from the finest materials can become damaged.

How Do I Care for My Dental Bridge?

To help prevent avoidable problems, it is imperative that you care for your dental bridge. Thankfully, this is typically as easy as closely following your aftercare instructions and maintaining your dental hygiene. Be sure to brush at least twice a day, floss regularly, and attend your cleanings and exams. We also advise you to refrain from chewing on ice, pencils, or your nails, as doing so may harm the bridge.

How Much Does a Dental Bridges Cost?

The overall price for a dental bridge includes many determining factors, which are assessed during your consultation. Important cost variables include the:

These details can cause the price of a dental bridge to fluctuate greatly from patient to patient. If you’d like to find out how much your bridge may cost, we invite you to schedule a personal consultation with one of our prosthodontists.

At Schweitzer & Schweitzer, PC, our board-certified, fellowship-trained prosthodontists offer high-quality reconstructive, restorative, aesthetic, and implant dentistry. We are a specialty practice and our prosthodontists have undergone years of extensive training to reach their level of expertise, which means that the services we provide tend to cost more than an average general or cosmetic dentist. Given the quality and value of our work, we believe our pricing is fair. The Schweitzer & Schweitzer, PC facility also offers the benefit of having everything our team needs on-site to deliver world-class care.

Does Insurance Cover Dental Bridges?

We believe our patients deserve quality dental care that is convenient, accessible, and affordable. Dental insurance typically covers (at least partially) the cost of dental bridges; however, benefits vary based on the details of your treatment plan. We accept Aetna® Extend, Cigna® PPO, and Delta Dental® PPO insurance and are happy to evaluate your coverage, determine out-of-pocket costs, and discuss payment methods for treatment. For patients who qualify, a payment plan can be made directly with our practice. We can also explain dental financing options available through CareCredit®, a third-party lender that offers a quick and easy online application process.

For more information about dental bridges, please contact our office to ask questions or to schedule a personal consultation with one of our prosthodontists.

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