Dental Bridge Procedure in Lincoln, Nebraska

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You’re probably wondering, “What is a dental bridge?” This is an important question to ask, as dental bridges are one of the most commonly used dental techniques in modern dentistry. If you have missing teeth, it’s likely you may need a bridge.

At Preserve Family Dentistry, we want to make sure you’re comfortable and confident going into any procedure. That’s why we’ve made it a primary goal to open discussion with every patient. We’ve found that an easy solution for nervous and anxious patients is to talk openly about the procedure and any concerns. We also have a handful of other options to help you feel comfortable. You can find these below. But first, you may still be asking yourself: What is a dental bridge?

What Is a Dental Bridge?

A dental bridge is a permanent set of crowns that bridges the gap made by a missing tooth or teeth. Using abutment teeth, or the teeth around the gap, a bridge stands fixed over the spot where a person’s teeth once were. These abutment teeth hold the bridge in place. Dentists will place dental crowns over the bridge, so they’ll appear like real teeth although they aren’t. The pontic tooth, or the fake tooth, replaces any teeth that used to be there. Further, it will look real and blend in color and shade with a person’s other teeth.

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Some worry about dental bridges looking unnatural before getting them. However, the false tooth rests near the gums, so it won’t appear to be floating or look fake in any way. Dr. Kathryn Alderman, our lead dentist, typically recommends a three-unit bridge, rather than larger alternatives. Bridges that span multiple teeth tend to put a lot of pressure on the supporting teeth. This often causes trauma and damage to the surrounding teeth.

What Is a Dental Bridge Procedure Like?

Similar to a dental crown, a dental bridge usually takes two appointments. At the first appointment, Dr. Alderman will give you a local anesthetic to make you numb and comfortable. Then, she’ll take an impression of your mouth. Using this mold, our office will make a temporary bridge for you. Then, Dr. Alderman will prepare your surrounding teeth for dental crowns. She’ll need to remove a small amount of tooth structure to ensure a perfect fit for the crowns. After this, they’ll take a final impression, which our dental lab will use to make a permanent bridge. The temporary bridge will be complete before you finish your appointment. We’ll place your temporary, and you’ll keep it on until your second appointment. Finally, Dr. Alderman will put on your permanent bridge at the second appointment, and you’ll be all done!

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What Is a Dental Bridge vs. an Implant-Retained Bridge?

An implant-retained bridge is a little different than a traditional bridge. An implant-retained bridge is held in place by a small dental implant instead of surrounding teeth. The implant looks like a small screw. An oral surgeon can secure this screw into your jawbone to hold up the bridge. The bone will heal around the implant over the course of a few months. After that, Dr. Alderman will place a crown on top of the implant.

If you have more than missing tooth, all in the same area, an implant-retained bridge is often a better option. It’ll usually be more affordable than replacing each tooth with a single implant. In the case of three missing teeth beside each other, the surgeon can place two implants instead of all three. These implants hold a false tooth in the middle instead of utilizing three different implants. As your implants heal, you can usually elect to have a temporary denture of sorts. Most patients choose this option, as it allows them to continue smiling brightly without gaps in their teeth.

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What Is The Cost of a Dental Bridge?

At this point, you’re probably wondering about the cost of a dental bridge. A traditional three-unit bridge usually costs about $800 per crown. It will usually cost a little bit more if the tooth still needs to be removed. Extraction can vary but on average costs about $200. For an implant-retained bridge, it will usually cost about $1200 per implant on top of the cost of the crowns.

If you’re concerned about affording a dental bridge, don’t worry. We know that it can sometimes be hard to pay for dental treatment. Unfortunately, dental insurance rarely covers the whole cost of a dental procedure. That’s why we have our own payment plans in case you need work done and can’t pay for it all at once.

Dental Bridge versus Dental Implants

Which one is a better option?

This can be a tough decision. Here are a few general guidelines we follow that may help you decide. If the adjacent teeth around a missing space are already cracked or decayed and require crowns, a bridge is a more practical option. However, a dental implant is almost always the best and most conservative option for tooth replacement because teeth adjacent to the missing space are not affected by the placement of an implant. Choosing to place an implant rather than a bridge also gives the benefit of preserving bone. When teeth are removed, bone dissolves in the space the tooth once occupied. This can result in a sunken-in appearance from a lack of bone support for facial structures. Implants keep bone active and prevent resorption.

Let’s Compare:
Dental Bridge versus Dental Implants

Comparison:
Basic Information to help you make an Informed Decision.
Bridge:
Used to bridge the gap created by missing teeth.
Implants:
The best long-term solution to replace missing teeth.
Longevity:7 – 30 YearsLifetime
Preservation of healthy adjacent teeth:NoYes
Transmission of force to:Adjacent TeethBone
Prevent bone loss & preserve the facial appearance:PartiallyYes
A requirement for daily flossing:YesYes
Risk of developing cavities:YesNo
Accelerated loss of adjacent teeth:YesNo
The time needed to complete the procedure:2 – 3 Weeks3 – 6 Months

Check out the “Is it better to have a dental bridge versus an implant” video

Who Can Benefit from Bridges?

Patients who have one missing tooth can benefit from this procedure and if the adjacent teeth next to the missing tooth require extra support, it can also be beneficial. If you choose a bridge, some bone will still be lost in areas and you may develop cavities. 

Who Can Benefit from Implants?

Patients who have one missing tooth, especially a chewing tooth, can benefit from this procedure. Rarely, a patient may not be a good candidate for the successful placement of implants and on occasion, additional surgery may be needed to ensure adequate bone support to the implants being placed.

What is the cost for an implant vs a three-unit bridge for the replacement of one single tooth?

The cost of a single implant is around $3500-$4000 and a 3 unit bridge is around $3300 without any dental insurance coverage. If your specific insurance policy does cover part of your treatment, the cost may be lower for those procedures.

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For more answers to frequently asked questions visit: nebraskafamilydentistry.com

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Make easy, affordable payments for your procedure with dental payment plans we offer.

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Nebraska Family Dentistry has dental clinic locations in all parts of Lincoln! Choose “near me dentist” location that is convenient for you.