A dental bridge is a dental prosthetic that bridges the gap created by one missing tooth or multiple missing teeth. It’s made up of 1-2 crowns for teeth on either side of the gap—the two or more teeth that serve as anchor/s are called abutment teeth, by the way—and a fake tooth or teeth in between serving as the “road” or main “body” of the bridge. The prosthetic teeth are known as pontics and can be made of a combination of materials or exclusively porcelain, alloys, or gold.
What Are the Benefits of Dental Bridges?
Your mouth can support your dental bridge with the use of implants or natural teeth. What’s more, if you’ve lost all your teeth and you wish to regain them all without resorting to putting on removal dentures that you have to put in a glass of water every night for cleanup, then you should get all-on-4 to all-on-8 implants that are fitted with several rows of dental bridges.
Bridges can offer you the following features and benefits.
- Smile Restoration: Bridges can restore your smile to its former glory or improve it by leaps and bounds.
- Biting, Chewing, and Speaking Improvements: Getting a bridge installed can restore or improve your ability to speak and chew.
- Teeth Shifting Prevention: Bridges can also prevent your remaining teeth from shifting or drifting out of their position to fill in that gap.
- Shape Maintenance: Installing a bridge in your mouth can maintain or even improve the shape of your face by correcting your bite and filling in gaps.
- Bite Distribution: Not only can bridges correct an underbite or overbite. They can also distribute the forces of your bite in a proper manner by missing teeth replacement.
What Types of Dental Bridges Are Available?
You can avail of 4 main dental bridge types. They are the following.
- Traditional Bridges: Making a traditional bridge involves creating a set of crowns for the implants or abutment teeth on either side of the missing tooth or teeth, with a pontic or pontics in between them. These standard bridges are the most commonplace and available bridge type. They’re either made of ceramics or porcelain fused with metal for maximum strength and satisfaction when push comes to shove.
- Cantilever Bridges: Cantilever bridges or hanging bridges only use one tooth or set of teeth on one side of the missing gap. It’s not common at this point and it’s discouraged for use on molars or the back of the mouth due to its lack of support and the higher probability of its getting compromised or destroyed. There’s simply too much bite forces and pressure from the back teeth to allow for a cantilever bridge to survive.
- Maryland-Bonded Bridges: A Maryland-bonded bridge is also known as a Maryland bridge or a resin-bonded bridge. This dental bridge type is made of plastic teeth and gums, porcelain fused to metal, or pure porcelain supported by a porcelain or meal framework. Wings made of porcelain or metal are often on just one side of this bridge type and then bonded unto your existing teeth for support.
- Implant-Supported Bridges: Implant-supported bridges are bridges that make use of implant studs and artificial abutments in order to fit the crowns on either side of the dental bridge properly. This is as opposed to implants that only replace one tooth. They’re particularly common in mouths with no more natural teeth available, thus necessitating the use of all-on-4 to all-on-8 implants that are strategically placed in your mouth to assemble multiple sets of bridges together.
Implant Support versus Abutment Support
Implant-supported bridges are supported by dental implants instead of frameworks, crowns, and the remaining natural teeth you have. Typically, a single implant is put in for every missing tooth and the series of implants hold the bridge in place when push comes to shove. However, it’s also possible for the bridge to be made of a pontic or several pontics suspended between implant-supported crowns instead if one implant per tooth is too expensive or too traumatizing a type of surgery.
Bridges secured by implants are comfortable on your mouth and quite secure. Unlike with standard bridges that require you to shave and ruin natural teeth between the gaps in your mouth, you can save those teeth by instead placing implants in place. Just remember that it’s more expensive to put in implants to support a bridge versus simply placing the bridge over your healthy teeth. You’ll also need two surgeries to place the implants. Implant-supported implants take at least 5 months to finish versus the two visits required for standard implants.
How Much Do Dental Bridges Cost?
How much the bridge costs depends on the type of bridge you’ve selected. It can also vary on the area of the country where you’re performing the operation. Some might even avail of dental tourism options so that they can go to places like Thailand to cheaply get the operation done while getting a quick vacation to a tropical country out of it. Thailand dentistry is cheap but high quality because the country is renowned for its world-class healthcare.
If you want to do things locally, dental insurance will typically give you partial coverage of the fee depending on what type of dental plan you’ve availed off. The rest of the cost you’ll have to pay out-of-pocket. There are several variables that can affect the price of your bridge:
- The difficulty of the placement and the complexity of the operation
- How many teeth are needed to fill the gap, resulting in more pontics made
- Geographic location of the clinic, since some clinics offer more affordable bridges than others
- The additional treatments required for your preexisting dental issues, such as periodontal disease
- Which materials are used, which can include metal alloy covered in resin, zirconia, composite resin, porcelain bonded with metal, and so forth
The costs will also depend on what type of bridge you’ve chosen: The more pontics used the more expensive it gets. Check out the prices of the bridges below.
- Traditional or Cantilever Bridges: $2,000 to $5,000 for a single pontic and a crown for every abutment tooth.
- Maryland Bridges: $1,500 to $2,500 for a single pontic and framework or wings attached to the abutment teeth.
- Implant-Supported Bridge: $5,000 to $15,000 for a single bridge with 2 dental implants that span about 3-4 teeth.
Meanwhile, at Thantakit, the cost of the bridge depends on the type of material used along with Porcelain-Fused-to-Metal (PFM) on the bridges in question.
- PFM with Standard Alloy: This bridge and crown type costs ฿10,000 or $330.
- PFM with Palladium Alloy: This bridge and crown type costs ฿15,000 or $500.
- PFM with Gold Alloy: This bridge and crown type costs ฿18,000 or $600.
- PFM with High-Gold Alloy: This bridge and crown type costs ฿20,000 to ฿30,000 or $660 to $1,000 depending on the size of the appliance.
As you can clearly see, Thantakit prices are way cheaper than what you can normally get from other clinics. It’s costs about a fraction up to half of what it’d cost to get a standard bridge, with it having different rates for implant-supported bridges.
As for Thantakit’s implant-supported bridges, their costs depend on the type of implant used.
- Dentium: 2 implants with a 3-unit bridge costs ฿155,000 or $5,070. 2 implants with a 4-unit bridge costs ฿180,000 or $5,890.
- BioHorizons: 2 implants with a 3-unit bridge costs ฿175,000 or $5,720. 2 implants with a 4-unit bridge costs ฿200,000 or $6,540.
- Nobel Biocare: 2 implants with a 3-unit bridge costs ฿195,000 or $5,380. 2 implants with a 4-unit bridge costs ฿220,000 or $7,200.
- ITI Straumann: 2 implants with a 3-unit bridge costs ฿205,000 or $6,700. 2 implants with a 4-unit bridge costs ฿230,000 or $7,520.
Finally, Thantakit also does all-on-4, all-on-6, and all-on-8 implants for the sake of full-arch or full-jaw reconstruction. They’re also quite affordable to boot.
- Dentium: All-on-4 implants with bridges cost ฿320,000 or $10,460. All-on-6 implants with bridges cost ฿400,000 or $13,080. All-on-8 implants with bridges cost ฿480,000 or $15,700.
- BioHorizons: All-on-4 implants with bridges cost ฿360,000 or $11,800. All-on-6 implants with bridges cost ฿450,000 or $14,700. All-on-8 implants with bridges cost ฿500,000 or $13,350.
- Nobel Biocare: All-on-4 implants with bridges cost ฿400,000 or $13,080. All-on-6 implants with bridges cost ฿500,000 or $13,350. All-on-8 implants with bridges cost ฿600,000 or $19,620.
Things to Expect After Bridge Placement
Here are the things you should expect after your dental bridge or bridges have been installed in your mouth.
- How Long Do Bridges Last? A dental bridge or set of bridges can last from 15 years or more since its installation. If you practice good oral hygiene and attend checkups regularly, it’s not unusual for the fixed bridge’s lifespan to last over a decade or so. Keep a regular cleaning schedule to help identify and diagnose problems early on.
- Will It Be Difficult to Eat With a Dental Bridge? No, it shouldn’t. In fact, replacing your teeth with a dental bridge should make things easier instead of harder. As you get accustomed to the bridge, you should eat soft foods at first and work your way up to bigger, chewier pieces of food.
- Will the Dental Bridge Change How I Speak? When teeth are missing, it makes it difficult for you to speak without a speech impediment. In turn, getting a dental bridge should make it easier for you to speak properly instead of harder, particularly if it’s fixing the relationship or bite of your anterior teeth.
- How Do I Take Care of a Bridge? When flossing a bridge, you usually floss under the pontic or pontics instead of just between teeth. In such cases, you need a floss threader to make it easier to pass the floss on that area. As for all other aspects of hygiene, just follow the proper routine like before, such as brushing your teeth at least twice a day and using antiseptic mouthwash to prevent decay.
- Can Poor Hygiene Ruin Your Bridge: Yes. The acid produced by your mouth bacteria can eat through anything, including the porcelain or alloy your bridge prosthesis is made of. This is why you should take care of your teeth, crowns, and bridges to prevent further tooth loss or to avoid compromising the integrity of your dental prosthetics.
What Is the Process for Getting a Dental Bridge?
When getting a dental bridge on the first visit, you will first have the adjacent teeth prepared so that they can become bridge foundations or abutment teeth. Prepping these teeth typically calls for recontouring them by shaving off a portion of their enamel to allow the crowns room to fit atop them. Afterwards, teeth impressions are made by mold or digital scanning to serve as basis from which the dental laboratory will make the crowns, pontics, and bridge.
You’ll be then fitted with a temporary bridge to protect your newly exposed abutment teeth and sensitive gums while the bridge is being built. Some labs have 3D printers that allow you to get the bridges on the same day as your first appointment, even. Otherwise, on the second visit, the temp bridge is taken off and the new porcelain or metal bridge will be fitted and adjusted as required. This is all for the sake of achieving a proper fit when all is said and done.
In a Nutshell
Dental bridges are one of many ways a dentist can close gaps in the middle of your smile. With the variety of bridges you can avail of, you should feel confident about your chances in getting your smile back or receiving a smile that’s better and more pleasing than before. All of it is possible with the help of your dentist picking the appropriate bridge solution for your missing teeth issues.
Multiple visits might be needed when fitting your mouth with the proper bridge in order to properly adjust your bite and the metal framework of the dental prosthetic itself. Your dentist will temporarily cement the bridge in place for a couple of weeks to check the fit then if it’s good he’ll permanently cement the bridge into place. How long it takes the whole process to get completed ultimately comes on a case-by-case basis.
Thantakit International Dental Center is Thailand’s longest established dental center. Situated in Bangkok, our clinic is renowned across the world as a destination for world-class dentistry, with most of our patients flying to us from Australia.
Please contact us today and get a FREE dental consultation.