Frequently Asked Questions
Are Dental Bridges Better Than Implants?
Dental bridges and implants are both good long term options for replacing teeth that need to be removed or are already missing. The main difference between the two is how they replace the teeth. A dental bridge requires assistance from the adjacent natural teeth to support it. A dental implant is uses the jaw bone to support it with no direct effect on the adjacent teeth. If the adjacent teeth are damaged or have large fillings then a bridge would be beneficial to protect the adjacent teeth and replace the missing tooth at the same time. If the adjacent teeth don’t need any treatment, then an implant may be better for replacing the missing tooth.
How Many Teeth Can Be Replaced By A Bridge?
Usually one missing tooth is replaced by a bridge. The tooth directly in front of the space and the tooth directly behind the space support the false tooth in the middle. This scenario allows for two teeth supporting a third one which works quite well in terms of strength. Sometimes, two missing teeth right next to each other are supported by one tooth either side. However, strength is reduced in this scenario as there are two teeth supporting two other teeth.
How Does A Dental Bridge Work?
Generally speaking, a bridge is really a few crowns joined together. One crown covers the tooth directly in front of the space and another covers the tooth directly behind the space. There is usually one false tooth in the middle joined to the other two crowns. The bridge is one piece and is cemented on to the prepared teeth.
How Long Does A Dental Bridge Last?
A dental bridge will usually last on average 10 to 15 years. However, it all depends on how well it is looked after. A bridge is susceptible to wear and tear just like a normal tooth in the mouth. Although a bridge itself won’t decay or become infected, the teeth it sits over and the gum and bone surrounding it can. This can cause a bridge to fail. It is important to practice good oral hygiene to ensure that the dental bridge can last as long as possible. Regular dental checkups will also allow your dentist to identify any early problems and help correct them to get even more time out of your dental bridge.
Are Dental Implants Cheaper than Dental Bridges?
The cost of dental implants and dental bridges are very comparable. A single tooth dental implant and crown costs $4000. A three tooth bridge replacing one missing tooth costs $4500. However the bridge has provided treatment for three teeth (replaced the missing tooth and protected the two adjacent teeth) while the implant only treats the missing tooth.
How Much Does A Dental Bridge Cost?
Generally $1500 for each tooth involved in the bridge. For a typical three tooth bridge with two teeth supporting one in the middle the cost is $4500. A four tooth bridge with two teeth supporting two in the middle costs $6000.
Dental Bridges Brisbane Procedure and Cost
Step 1 1.5 Hour Appointment – Bridge Preparation and Temporisation (3 Tooth Bridge)
Removal of broken down tooth structure and old filling material to form foundations for crowns to attach. Preparing the teeth or foundations, taking an impression of the preparation, and making and cementing temporary crowns to cover the teeth.
|Item 613 All Porcelain Crown|
Description : All Porcelain Crown
|Item 643 Pontic (Missing Tooth Replacement)|
Description : Missing Tooth Replacement
|Item 613 All Porcelain Crown - $1500|
Description : All Porcelain Crown
Step 2 30 Minute Appointment 2 weeks After Step 1 – Bridge Cementation
Removal of temporary crowns and trying in of bridge, cementing and adjustment of bridge to make sure it feels good in the mouth.
No additional charge for this appointment.
Let's Bridge That Gap!
Before dental implants, when there was a missing tooth that needed to be replaced, a dental bridge was generally the preference over a small denture. A bridge is essentially 1 or more crowns joined together to replace 1 or more missing teeth. Unlike a denture which is removable, a bridge is permanently fixed to the teeth. It is the stronger, longer term option.
A bridge uses the adjacent teeth next to a missing tooth to replace it. Just like a bridge crossing a river from where it gets its name has vertical supports either side of the river, a dental bridge requires a tooth on either side of the missing tooth to support its replacement. Basically, a crown is placed on each tooth either side of the missing one and a third crown called a pontic is joined to these other 2 crowns to form 1 strong unit. The pontic rests on the gum tissue where the tooth is missing, making it look like a tooth is coming out of the gum like a normal tooth.
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One Bridge, Two Gaps.
This same principle can be applied to 2 missing teeth next to each other. In this case, you would have a crown on either side of the 2 missing teeth connecting 2 crowns in the middle to replace the 2 missing teeth. For strength, you usually wouldn’t want your bridge to be any longer than this. Typically, 1 missing tooth and 2 support teeth is the ideal arrangement.
It is also possible to hang 1 pontic off a single crown. This is called a cantilever bridge as there is only support for the pontic on 1 side. This is obviously not ideal and can only be done where the support tooth is strong enough and usually bigger than the missing tooth the pontic has to replace. This may occur at the back of the mouth where there may be no teeth behind the 1 that needs to be replaced. It is also done to be conservative and not crown another tooth if this is not needed for support. In front teeth cases where the forces on the teeth may be less, a cantilever bridge may be sufficient for strength.
Do I Need To Build A Bridge?
When you have a missing tooth or a tooth that needs to be extracted, you have the option of a dental implant, a bridge or a denture to replace the tooth. You may opt for a bridge for the following reasons:
- You want a strong long term option
- Adjacent teeth would benefit from crowns
- You want a fixed option rather than a removable denture
- You prefer a non-surgical option
- There is lack of bone or other issues preventing implant option
That's A Strong Foundation!
A bridge is cemented in place, is very strong and durable long term and cannot be removed. It is a good option if the teeth adjacent to the missing one have large fillings which would benefit from crowns. Because all 3 teeth are now joined together, there needs to be an adjustment in flossing technique to clean under the pontic. Also if something happens to 1 of the teeth (e.g. 2 supports and 1 pontic) that make up the bridge, the whole bridge may need to be replaced as all three teeth are now linked together.
With the development of dental implants, there are now less applications for the traditional dental bridge. Bridges still have their advantages though. In many instances, a dental bridge can still treat 3 teeth for less than the price of a single dental implant. After the dental implant, you may still need to crown the adjacent teeth at an additional cost if they are also problematic. In a case like this, a bridge may be more cost-effective.
Should I Get A Dental Bridge?
A dental bridge is a good option for replacing a missing tooth or teeth. Have a look at some dental bridge pictures and you will understand how they work. As with all treatments, there are dental bridge pros and cons. The dental bridge pros are being able to replace a missing tooth with something that is fixed in the mouth and not removable like a denture, and bring able to strengthen the adjacent teeth at the same time. There are many types of dental bridges, including dental bridges for front teeth and dental bridges for back teeth. There are dental bridges that connect three or more teeth with the missing tooth or teeth in the middle, and cantilever dental bridges that have a false tooth at one end of the bridge. The dental bridge cons are needing to join several teeth together which makes it necessary to learn a new way to clean it. Other dental bridge problems include affecting the whole bridge if one of the supporting teeth has an issue. In a lot of cases, dental implants provide a good alternative, while a removable denture or plate is the least favoured option. Comparing dental bridges vs implants is a common occurrence in dental treatment plans. Both are fixed to the mouth and are long term options. Dental bridges are favoured when the patient doesn’t want implant surgery or there is little jaw bone to perform straight forward implant surgery. How long do dental bridges last? As long as they are cleaned well and checked every six months, they can stay in the mouth for many years. At our Brisbane CBD dental clinic, our dentists offer free 30 minute consults to discuss options for replacing a missing tooth or teeth. View Terms and Conditions. After a dental checkup, your dentist can discuss options appropriate to your specific case, including implants, bridges and dentures. If this is the best option for your case, a dental bridge cost estimate will be provided along with dental item numbers to check your health fund coverage if you have health insurance. We are preferred providers for a number of health funds so you will receive a discounted price and maximum health fund rebate levels when you use your health fund card at our Brisbane CBD dental clinic. View Terms and Conditions.
Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.