Dental Bridge Definition
A dental bridge is a one-piece, non-removeable appliance that replaces one or more missing teeth. The ends of the bridge are made up of retaining crowns. These crowns or “retainers” are bonded permanently to natural teeth on either side of a space left by missing teeth. The retaining crowns are fused to one or more bridge teeth. Dental Bridges can be made of gold or porcelain depending on your esthetic preferences. Bridges provide a strong and esthetic solution to replace missing teeth.
What happens if I don’t replace lost teeth?
- Neighboring teeth tip, drift and rotate horizontally into the space left by missing teeth
- Opposing teeth over-erupt or grow out of the gums vertically and into the space left by missing teeth
- Soft tissues like the tongue and cheek grow and enlarge into the space left by missing teeth
What benefits does a fixed Dental Bridge have?
- Restores and improve chewing function
- Stabilizes position of opposing and neighbouring teeth
- Restores proper speech
- Restores your smile!
- Prevents long-term collapse of your bite
What does a fixed Bridge look like?
Dental Bridges look very realistic. Your Dentist can have your bridge made from porcelain using a shade that will match your natural teeth accurately. Dental Bridges are made so that spaces where teeth have been lost are not noticeable. You don’t see any gaps around the gum line, either. A fixed bridge can give you your lost teeth back in a way that nobody will notice.
What is involved in having my dental bridge made?
First, teeth that will hold the retaining crowns are shaped. Depending on the number of teeth being replace, you may need additional support on either end of your bridge. For short-span bridges, one retaining crown on either side of the gap is sufficient. For longer-span bridges, it is often necessary to crown two neighboring teeth.
Next, a highly accurate impression is taken to capture the shape of the retaining teeth and the gap left as a result of tooth loss. Finally, a temporary bridge is placed. At the try-in or insert appointment, the temporary bridge is removed and the permanent bridge is seated for assessment. I check to make sure that:
- Your bite is comfortable
- Each retaining crown is sealed properly to its tooth
- You approve of both the shape and colour or “shade” of the bridge
Once we are satisfied with the bridge and you approve the colour and shape, we can bond the bridge to your teeth. You will be instructed to avoid heavy chewing on the new bridge for 72 hours. You will also be advised to avoid flossing around the bridge for 72 hours.
If you are interested in learning more about the available options for replacing your missing teeth, contact us to book a complimentary consult with Dr. Kyle Hornby.
How much does a Bridge cost?
Dental Bridges have a variable cost component because they are made by a dental laboratory. Specifically, part of the total cost is based on lab time taken to make your bridge and the cost of materials used. So, generally, a larger bridge with larger teeth will cost more than a bridge replacing smaller teeth. The Dentist fee component of the bridge does not vary in this way and is fixed. As a general rule of thumb, it costs $1,000 – $1,200 for each tooth in the bridge. Here are 2 examples to help you understand dental bridge costs:
- Your dental bridge replaces 1 missing tooth. The bridge involves 1 retaining crown on the tooth behind the space and 1 retaining crown in front of the space. So, written out your bridge is a RETAINER – PONTIC (BRIDGE TOOTH) – RETAINER, or 3-unit bridge. The cost will be calculated as 3 x ($1,000 – $1,200). So, the overall cost will be roughly $3,000 – $3,600.
- Your dental bridge replaces 2 missing teeth. This bridge involves 1 retaining crown on the tooth behind the space and 2 retaining crowns in front of the space. So, written out your bridge is a RETAINER – PONTIC (BRIDGE TOOTH) – PONTIC (BRIDGE TOOTH) – RETAINER – RETAINER, or 5-unit bridge. The cost will be calculated as 5 x ($1,000 – $1,200). So, the overall cost will be roughly $5,000 – $6,000.