There are many advantages in choosing a dental bridge, but before we get into that, let’s look at the three main types in a little more detail.
Traditional Dental Bridges
This type of dental bridge involves attaching crowns on either sides of the missing tooth (or teeth), with a false tooth in the middle. The dental crowns hold the bridge in place as they are cemented to the supporting teeth. Traditional bridges are the most common & popular type.
For a traditional bridge to work, you must have natural teeth on both sides of the gap to anchor the crowns in place (otherwise it’s an implant supported bridge, see below). Traditional bridges are made of ceramics or porcelain and are fused to metal.
Implant Supported Bridges
Implant supported bridges secure the bridge to two dental implant on either side. Implant supported bridges are the most robust and secure type. Studies have proven that traditional bridges have a 15-20% failure rate within ten years, while implant supported bridges see less than a 2% failure after ten years.
This bridge type normally requires at least two procedures: the first to imbed the dental implants into the jawbone, and the second to place the actual bridge.
Cantilever Dental Bridges
Cantilever bridges are very similar to traditional bridges, in that a dental crown holds the bridge in place, however only one natural tooth is required. A single crown is cemented to that tooth as opposed to connecting to two crowns.
Cantilever bridges are not used very often, as they can damage other teeth due to excess force when used at the back of the mouth (where bridges are commonly required).
Maryland Dental Bridges
A Maryland bridge, named from where they were initially created, the University of Maryland, relies on natural teeth, similar to the traditional bridge, but Maryland bridges use metal, porcelain, or porcelain fused to metal, bonded to the backside of the teeth.
This type of bridge is not intended for molars, rather for teeth in the front of the mouth. They aren’t used that often, largely due to the fact that the bond can be broken when eating certain types of foods.
Dental Bridge Costs
Traditional & Cantilever Bridges – Both types range from $2,000 to $5,000. That includes one pontic and a crown for each abutment tooth.
Maryland Bridges – The average cost is $1,500 to $2,500. That includes one pontic and the accompanying framework attached to the abutment teeth.
Implant Supported Bridges – Implant supported bridges range between $5,000 to $15,000, assuming a bridge with two dental implants that span three or four teeth.