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Affordable Dental Bridges

Missing teeth do more than keep you from having a beautiful smile. In addition to altering your appearance and impacting your self esteem, they can affect your day-to-day life, changing how your other teeth function, how your jaws line up, and the shape and integrity of your facial structure. Without replacing missing teeth, you may be at greater risk for infection, gum disease, and misalignment due to dental shifting. You may even notice you can’t speak or chew properly anymore. 

Monarch Dental offers dental bridges as part of our comprehensive restorative and preventative dental services. It doesn’t matter how many teeth you’re missing or why you’ve lost them, Monarch Dental is here to help restore a full, healthy, and beautiful smile.

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What are dental bridges?

Dental bridges are custom-made dental prosthetics that “bridge” the space created by missing teeth or teeth that haven’t erupted yet. Bridges consist of one or more crowns (or artificial teeth) and are permanently anchored with dental cement or bonding to the natural teeth on either side of the gap. Bridges can be designed to replace several teeth or just one, helping to recreate the natural appearance and function of a healthy smile. 

Is a dental bridge right for me?

There are myriad reasons why people lose teeth–including as the result of injury, gum disease, oral cancer, severe tooth decay, or extraction–and more than 120 million people in the U.S. alone are missing at least one tooth. Not properly addressing missing teeth can put you at a higher risk for gum disease, tooth decay, infection, speech issues, and even bone loss. 

Replacing missing teeth is important for maintaining a lifetime of good oral health, so while you may feel embarrassed about missing teeth, you should not be ashamed and you should not avoid treatment. There are many instances where a dental bridge is the ideal solution for tooth replacement, providing an alternative to implants or dentures.

Some instances where a dental bridge is the ideal solution for tooth replacement:

  • Patients may not have the existing gum and jaw structure necessary to support implants
  • Patients with diabetes or autoimmune disorders may not be able to recover properly from dental implant surgery
  • Patients may find dentures uncomfortable or difficult to maintain on a daily basis
  • Patients may find dentures or implant surgery simply undesirable 

At Monarch Dental, we believe everyone deserves a beautiful, healthy smile. Our dentists are highly trained and experienced in restoring smiles with dental bridges, and no matter the extent of your tooth loss or what has caused it, you’ll receive the compassionate, professional, and respectful care you deserve. 

What types of dental bridges are available?

There are several different kinds of dental bridges, and the best type for you will depend on where they will be placed in your mouth, your budget, and your personal preference.

Dental bridges are typically classified by the type of materials used to make them–porcelain, porcelain and metal, and all-metal–and how they are attached to neighboring teeth. Each dental bridge material-type has its pros and cons, and each fit is specific to the location of your missing tooth or teeth. 

What materials are used to make dental bridges?

Porcelain Dental Bridges

Porcelain dental bridges are made completely from tooth-colored porcelain.

Pros of porcelain dental bridges:

  • The most natural-looking material
  • Very discrete
  • A good option for replacing highly visible front teeth

Cons of porcelain dental bridges:

  • More fragile than other materials
  • Not a good option for replacing teeth other than lightly used front teeth

Combined Porcelain and Metal Dental Bridges

Combined porcelain and metal dental bridges are made from metal that has been covered in porcelain.

Pros of combined dental bridges are:

  • Natural-looking
  • Strong and durable
  • A good option for replacing most teeth

Cons of combined dental bridges are:

  • Prone to chipping, revealing the metal underneath
  • Used for less visible teeth

All-metal Dental Bridges

All-metal dental bridges are made entirely from metal.

Pros of all-metal dental bridges:

  • The strongest 
  • Highly durable
  • A good option for back teeth

Cons of all-metal dental bridges:

  • Do not look like natural teeth
  • Are not recommended as a standard of care for most dental professionals

How are dental bridges fitted? 

There are 3 main types of bridges according to where they are placed in the mouth and how they are attached to neighboring teeth or crowns:

  • Traditional bridges, the most common type, require natural teeth on either side of a gap to be filed down and covered with crowns–caps that cover an entire tooth. Then the artificial tooth or teeth are attached to the adjacent crowns.
  • Cantilever bridges are used in the absence of natural teeth on both sides of a gap (i.e. a missing back tooth or several back teeth in a row). Cantilever bridges are attached to just one crown or tooth on one side of the gap. Extreme care during placement and dental supervision will be taken to reduce the strain that a cantilever bridge may exert on the natural tooth or crown supporting it.
  • Maryland, or Maryland-bonded bridges, are adhered directly to the natural teeth on either side of the gap. Maryland bridges are often used if the natural teeth on either side of the gap cannot be filed down to accommodate a crown, such as front or near-front teeth. Only one or two teeth in a row can be replaced with this type of bridge. 

How much do dental bridges cost?

A variety of factors will determine how much a dental bridge will cost, including the type of material, placement requirements, how many teeth are being replaced, and if you require any additional procedures to prepare your mouth or natural teeth for the bridge. 

All-porcelain bridges will generally cost more than metal or porcelain-metal bridges, while a cantilever bridge with its unique placement needs will also be slightly higher than other types.

However, many dental insurance plans will cover at least some–if not all–of the cost of a dental bridge, and Monarch Dental accepts most major carriers as well as CareCredit. If you don’t have insurance, you can take advantage of our OneSmile Dental plan, which offers members discounts on all dental services for one low annual fee, or our flexible financing and payment options.

What is the dental bridge process and procedure? 

Dental bridge placement typically requires at least two appointments: 

1st Appointment

Step 1: The doctor will prepare the natural teeth on either side of the gap. With traditional and cantilever bridges, these teeth may be filed and reshaped in preparation for a crown to be fitted over them. For Maryland bridges, the natural teeth will be thoroughly cleaned. 

Step 2: Once the teeth are prepared, the dentist will take an impression of your teeth and send it to a lab, where your custom bridge and crowns will be created.  

Step 3: You’ll receive temporary crowns, if needed for your type of bridge, to protect the filed teeth and minimize sensitivity until you receive the permanent bridge at your next visit. 

2nd Appointment

Step 1: If you have temporary crowns, they are removed and new ones placed. Natural teeth may be inspected and cleaned again.

Step 2: Your new custom bridge is fitted and cemented or bonded to your crowns or your natural teeth. 

Step 3: In some cases, your dentist may use a temporary cement or bonding, allowing you to “test” the new bridge and ensure it fits comfortably and needs no adjusting.

Additional Appointments 

If your dentist used a temporary cement or bond, you will have another appointment to assess how the bridge is working. If there are no issues, the bridge will be permanently placed. If there has been some discomfort, you should let your dentist know so further adjustments can be made. Then, you may have another few weeks to test your dental bridge again before it is permanently placed.

What is the aftercare and recovery from a dental bridge procedure?

With proper care, a dental bridge can last 15 years or more, looking, feeling, and functioning just like natural teeth, so it is important to take certain precautions right after, and in the years following, the placement of your dental bridge. 

In the days right after your bridge placement, you may experience mild to moderate sensitivity around the bridge, especially in the tooth or teeth attached to it. This is usually due to nerves being activated during the procedure from filing and crowns, and should subside. 

If you have been living with missing teeth for a long time, you may find chewing and speaking difficult, awkward, or uncomfortable at first, but your mouth and jaws will adapt with practice and over time. 

Although having a bridge doesn’t necessarily restrict your diet, you should be careful with very chewy or crunchy foods. These can strain the bridge or cause displacement. 

You should contact your dentist immediately if you begin to experience any of the following symptoms:

  • Pain or aching in the teeth to which the bridge is attached
  • Detachment of a crown or crowns
  • Red or swollen gums around the bridge
  • Bleeding from the gums around the bridge

The replacement teeth in your bridge will require the same care as your natural teeth, including brushing them twice a day for at least two minutes, flossing between the bridge and gums to remove bacteria and prevent gum disease, using antiseptic mouthwash to kill germs in the tissues around your bridge, and two dental check-ups a year. 

Affordable Dental Bridges at Monarch Dental

You deserve a beautiful, healthy smile you can show the world, and Monarch Dental is committed to helping you achieve it. With affordable financing options, flexible scheduling, and multiple convenient locations, we make it easy for you to get the care you need at a price that fits your budget. We accept most major dental insurances as well as Care Credit, and we offer our own OneSmile Dental plan for discounts on all dental services.

Find out if dental bridges are right for you. Contact the Monarch Dental office nearest you and schedule an appointment today!