Dental bridges can replace missing teeth to restore your smile. If you have a missing tooth or more, you can opt for a dental bridge. Different types of bridges are available, and they all have their up and downsides.
You need to know the different types of bridges available, their cost, and alternative treatments if you want to make an informed decision to restore your missing teeth. This dental bridge guide answers all your questions about dental bridges, including their cost, the different types of dental bridges, the up and downsides of bridges, and potential problems from fitting a bridge.
Dental bridges are prosthetic devices that close the gap between two teeth. If you have a missing tooth or more due to decay or an accident, a dental bridge can replace the missing teeth and make your smile look beautiful again.
You may also decide to fit an implant-supported bridge if you have more than two missing teeth in a row.
Losing your teeth has several effects on your oral health. It would affect the appearance and function of your teeth and alter your smile. You may also find chewing food and speaking properly difficult. Some people even suffer low self-esteem and feel embarrassed to smile when they have gaps from missing teeth.
Replacing your lost teeth can enhance your self-confidence and make your smile look better. A dental bridge offers you the following benefits
Dental bridges are available in the following materials and finishes.
Traditional dental bridges require adjacent teeth to serve as an anchor. You may decide to get a bonded or fixed bridge, depending on your preference.
You will find us at:54 The Quadrant, St Albans, AL4 9RD Make an Appointment 01727 266265
For the dental restoration to fit properly, your dentist will file down the anchor teeth. The teeth to hold the bridge has to be strong to support your dental bridge. Your dentist may need to carry out a root canal treatment on the supporting teeth before removing a small part of the enamel.
After your dentist prepares the anchor teeth, they will take your teeth impressions and send them to the lab to make your bridge. Your dentist will fit a temporary crown or bridge to protect your exposed gums and teeth during the appointment. When your permanent bridge is available, you will have an appointment for the dentist to fit the bridge. If the bridge fits properly, your dentist will hold it in place with a strong adhesive material or dental cement. You need to visit the dentist after the fitting to check your dental bridge.
A downside of fitting a dental bridge is that two of your healthy teeth would be affected, and if you decide to swap your dental bridge for implants, you would have to fit crowns on the affected teeth. You also have to be careful while flossing and brushing around the bridge area. Water floss is a better alternative because it makes the cleaning process easier, more effective, and faster.
Besides these downsides, a fixed bridge is perfect for replacing missing teeth, and you can get porcelain or ceramic bridge.
Dental bridges, implants and dentures are restorative dental treatments for missing teeth. They all have their advantages which make them good alternatives and their downsides.
Implants are dental restorations placed in the jawbone to serve as the root of a missing tooth. These implants are biocompatible and made from titanium. They do not cause allergic reactions, and the body is less likely to reject them.
After placing the dental implant in the jawbone, the dentist will fit an abutment that would hold the dental restoration, such as a crown or denture.
The following are some advantages of a dental implant over a bridge.
On the flip side, implants require a surgical procedure for placement which is more expensive than getting a dental bridge. However, if you consider implants' durability and the convenience they offer, implants would be a better investment.
Another thing you should consider before getting a dental implant is the treatment time. Getting traditional dental implants requires several months because the implants need time to fuse with your jawbone before attaching the crown and abutment. Some patients find the wait time long and prefer to get a dental bridge.
If you had an injury or mouth trauma, you might have to wait for it to heal before the dental implant procedure.
Patients with several missing teeth in one row or unhealthy teeth that cannot serve as an anchor for a bridge can opt for an implant-supported bridge. Your dentist can fit the implant then place the bridge instead of using the adjacent teeth and an anchor. The bridge usually has two crowns and a pontic or two.
This dental restoration option is more affordable than fitting a dental implant for each missing tooth.
Most people refer to dentures as false teeth. Dentures have one or more prosthetic teeth in a plastic or metal frame attached to the natural teeth. Different types of dentures made with flexible material are now available.
Dentures can be custom-made to replace any missing teeth and are the most affordable option for teeth replacement, particularly partial dentures. However, living with dentures is uncomfortable, and certain foods can dislodge and damage them. They also require special cleaning.
The mouth changes over time, especially when you have missing teeth. This means that your denture would only last for a couple of years before they become loose and need replacement. If you do not replace your dentures, they could cause mouth sores, make you uncomfortable, and possibly slip out when you talk, laugh or eat.
|Dental restoration||Dental bridges||Dental implant and crown/bridge||Dentures|
|Permanency||Anchored by adjacent tooth and not removable||Placed in the jaw bone and remains in place||Removable|
|Longevity||6 – 15 years, sometime longer||20 years or more||5 – 10 years|
|Comfort||Feel like the natural teeth, if fitted properly||Similar to the natural teeth||May become loose after a while, leading to discomfort|
|Appearance||It looks like the natural teeth, except those made with metal||It looks like the natural teeth||It looks artificial, and the metal clips will be visible|
|Function||Similar to the natural teeth||Works like the natural teeth||Requires special cleaning and some food restrictions|
|Other up and downsides||Requires filling down the adjacent teeth to hold it in place||Requires surgery and has a small risk of infection||Easily gets lost or damaged and can clip out|
To get the most suitable dental restoration to replace your missing teeth, you need to visit your dentist to examine your teeth.
Dental bridges in the UK have varying cost, but you would spend between £1550 - £3,200. Although the price range of a dental bridge is high, it depends on the following.
During your dental bridge consultation, the dentist will give you a personalised cost for your treatment after examining your teeth and determining the treatment you need to get the dental bridge.
You will find us at:54 The Quadrant, St Albans, AL4 9RD Make an Appointment 01727 266265
Yes, dental bridges are available on the public healthcare service. The public healthcare service offers dental bridges as one of the teeth replacement options. You can get a partial denture or tooth bridge on the public health care service if you have one or more missing teeth. Your dentist will help recommend the most suitable options.
However, you can't choose a preferred material for a dental bridge on the public healthcare service. The dentist will select the most suitable material for you. You may get porcelain fused to a metal (PFM) bridge for your front teeth on the public health care service and either an all-metal or PFM for the back teeth.
If you need a tooth-coloured dental bridge, you would have to pay for it privately.
Private dental clinics usually charge for each unit of a fixed dental bridge. You will need a three-unit bridge to replace a missing tooth, except you need a cantilever bridge with two units and a four-unit bridge for replacing two missing teeth.
Getting a dental bridge at a private dentist is more expensive, but you can choose a preferred material and don't have to wait for long like the NHS.
This table gives the approximate cost of different dental bridges at a private practice.
|Type of dental bridge||The average cost in a private clinic|
|Traditional fixed bridge and crown||£550 - £800 for a unit|
|Bonded bridge||£550 - £1000|
|Implant-supported bridges, consisting of two implants and a three-unit bridge||From £4500|
Implant-supported bridges are the most expensive, but they are more durable and provide a long-lasting solution for replacing missing teeth.
You can save money on dental bridges, especially if you want to get an implant-supported bridge without going abroad for the treatment. Dental bridges and other dental procedures are about 50 – 70% less in some countries like Turkey, and the standard of treatment is usually higher than in the UK.
In the UK, some dental insurance plans cover dental bridges. If you have dental insurance, check if it covers your dental bridge treatment, helping to reduce your treatment cost.
However, most dental insurance policies have a waiting period before you can claim dental restorative treatment such as dental bridges. The waiting period for some insurance providers ranges from three to six months and 12 months.
Another option is taking a dental loan to fund your dental bridge treatment or credit card if you can't wait to save up for your treatment.
A dental bridge is a suitable option for replacing missing teeth, but some complications may occur, like in any other dental treatment. The following are common problems that could occur from fitting dental bridges
The common cause of infection under a dental bridge include:
After you get a dental bridge, your dentist will advise you on the right ways to clean your teeth. Adhering to your dentist's advice can prevent infection of the teeth close to your bridge. If you think you have an infected bridge, contact your dentist and schedule an appointment before it causes a severe dental problem, like a dental abscess.
Dental bridge glues are available online, and following the instructions can keep your bridge in place for a longer time. Using dental glue at home to secure your bridge may not be as effective as getting it done at a dentist, but it offers a temporary solution before you visit the dentist.
Replacing your missing teeth shouldn't be a problem as different options are available in public healthcare and private clinics. A dental bridge is a quick solution to replace your missing teeth, and it gives a natural-looking result.
Different types of bridges are available to choose from, depending on your budget and your missing teeth's position. You also have other tooth replacement options like implants and dentures. Implants provide a longer-lasting solution and preserve the jawbone structure to prevent bone loss and facial sagging, but they are more expensive.
If you need dental bridges, you can visit our Dentist St Albans today at St Albans Dental Clinic. You can also contact our dental clinic now for more information about dental bridges.
No, you can't. The dentist permanently fixes the dental bridge to the adjacent teeth. If the bridge fits poorly, your dentist will have to remove it and re-cement it, but you can remove a denture.
It takes a couple of hours to some weeks to fit a dental bridge, depending on the technology your dentist will use. It requires at least two appointments, but you would get a temporary bridge while waiting for the permanent ones.
You need a local anaesthetic during the bridge placement, but you may experience slight discomfort during the procedure and when you get the injection. The bridge may cause temporary sensitivity or pain for some days after the procedure.
The dental bridge will feel strange in your mouth for a few days as your mouth gradually gets used to it. You may experience gum and teeth sensitivity during this time. However, if the bridge causes severe pain, contact your dentist.
With proper care, a dental bridge can also for 10 – 15 years, and sometimes more. A study showed that about 72% of people with traditional bridges had their abutment after ten years, close to the dental crown percentage.
After some years, the material begins to deteriorate, increasing tooth decay's risk on the supporting teeth. During your dental check-ups, your dentist will check the bridge to determine if it needs a replacement.
Replacing a dental bridge in the future may cost more, so you may want to consider dental implants, which can last a lifetime.
If your bridge gets loose while you sleep or eat, you might swallow it accidentally. Most people who swallow their dental bridge pass it out without problems. However, you may need to see a doctor if you do not pass it out after 2 – 3 days because it may be stuck in your digestive system, which can cause different problems.
Conventional fixed dental bridges are available, supported by the adjacent teeth and a cantilever bridge that requires one supporting tooth. Maryland bridges are also available, which have wings attached to the back of the teeth.
Resin-bonded Maryland bridges cost about £550 - £1000. They are more affordable than conventional bridges because they require only a false tooth.
A three-unit dental bridge can replace a missing tooth. The other two units of the bridge are for retaining it. It cost between £1550 - £2,400.
If you want to replace three missing teeth, you might need an implant-supported bridge, which is more durable and costs from £4500.
A four-unit dental bridge can replace two missing teeth. It costs between £2000 - £3200, depending on the type you get.