How Much Does A Dental Bridge Cost With Insurance?

Written By: Nathan Justice
Reviewed By: William Rivers
Published: July 24, 2023
Last updated: November 11, 2023

As we age, maintaining good oral health becomes increasingly important. For seniors experiencing tooth loss, dental bridges often serve as a reliable solution. But the question often arises, "how much does a dental bridge cost with insurance?" This article aims to provide a comprehensive overview of the costs involved, how insurance plays a part, and what seniors can do to manage these costs effectively.

Dental Bridges: An Overview

A dental bridge, quite literally, bridges the gap created by one or more missing teeth. It consists of two or more crowns for the teeth on either side of the gap (anchor teeth) and a false tooth/teeth in between. These false teeth, known as pontics, can be made from gold, alloys, porcelain, or a combination of these materials.

Types of Dental Bridges and Their Costs

There are four main types of dental bridges:

  • Traditional Bridges: These are the most common type and consist of a crown for the tooth or implant on either side of the missing tooth, with a pontic in between. The cost ranges between $2,000 and $5,000.

  • Cantilever Bridges: These are used when there are adjacent teeth on only one side of the missing tooth or teeth. The cost is similar to that of traditional bridges.

  • Maryland Bonded Bridges: These involve porcelain, porcelain fused to metal, or plastic teeth and gums supported by a metal or porcelain framework. They generally cost between $1,500 and $2,500.

  • Implant-Supported Bridges: These are similar to traditional bridges but are supported by implants rather than natural teeth. The cost typically ranges between $5,000 and $15,000.

Requirements For Getting a Dental Bridge

Several criteria need to be met to be considered a suitable candidate for a dental bridge. Here are the primary requirements:

1. Missing One or More Teeth: The primary purpose of a dental bridge is to replace missing teeth. Therefore, having one or more consecutive missing teeth is a basic requirement for a dental bridge. The procedure can replace a single tooth or multiple teeth, depending on the individual's need and condition.

2. Good Overall Oral Health: Dental bridges require strong, healthy teeth on either side of the gap (known as abutment teeth) to support the bridge. These teeth must be free from severe decay or gum disease. If these teeth are unhealthy, they might not be able to provide adequate support, and other options, such as implants, might be considered instead.

3. Adequate Bone Support: Particularly for implant-supported bridges, having a sufficient amount of healthy jawbone is crucial. The implants are inserted into the bone, and over time, they fuse with it in a process called osseointegration. If there is not enough healthy bone, a bone graft may be needed before the dental bridge can be placed.

4. Commitment to Good Oral Hygiene: Dental bridges require meticulous oral hygiene to keep the surrounding teeth and gums healthy. Poor oral hygiene can lead to problems such as tooth decay and gum disease, which can affect the longevity of the dental bridge.

5. Financial Preparedness: Dental bridges can be quite costly, especially implant-supported bridges. Insurance may cover some of the costs, but usually not all. Being financially prepared for the cost of the bridge and any associated costs such as cleanings, X-rays, or follow-up visits is essential.

6. General Health: The patient's overall health status also matters, especially for implant-supported bridges. Conditions like uncontrolled diabetes, hemophilia, immune deficiencies, or connective tissue diseases could complicate the procedure and affect healing time.

As with any dental procedure, an individualized approach is necessary, and these requirements can vary. The patient's needs and the dentist's professional judgment will dictate the best course of action. Always consult a dental professional before deciding on a dental bridge or other dental procedure.

How Much Does a Dental Bridge Cost With Insurance?

So, how much does a dental bridge cost with insurance? The answer largely depends on the specifics of your dental insurance plan. Some insurance plans may cover 50% to 80% of the cost of dental bridges, but this can vary widely.

Many insurance plans have an annual maximum coverage limit. If the cost of your dental bridge exceeds this limit, you'll be responsible for the difference. Additionally, most insurance companies require a waiting period before they cover the cost of a dental bridge, so planning ahead is essential.

Always check with your insurance provider to understand your coverage. Your dentist's office can also provide a pre-treatment estimate to understand out-of-pocket costs after insurance better.

Managing the Cost of Dental Bridges

Beyond the question, "how much does a dental bridge cost with insurance?" there are several strategies that seniors can use to manage these costs:

  • Payment Plans: Some dental offices offer payment plans that allow you to spread the cost over several months or even years.

  • Discount Dental Plans: These plans offer discounts on various dental procedures, including bridges, for an annual membership fee.

  • Dental Schools: Dental schools often provide dental procedures at a reduced cost, as procedures are performed by students under the supervision of experienced faculty.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does a dental bridge cost with insurance?

The cost of a dental bridge with insurance varies based on the type of bridge, the materials used, your geographical location, the dentist's expertise, and your specific insurance plan.

Does dental insurance fully cover the cost of dental bridges?

Most dental insurance plans don't cover the full cost of dental bridges but may cover a portion, often 50% to 80%.

What factors affect the cost of dental bridges?

Several factors can affect the cost, including the type and material of the bridge, the number of teeth involved, the complexity of the placement, the dentist's expertise, and geographical location.

Are there affordable alternatives to dental bridges?

Dentures and partials are usually less expensive than dental bridges, but they may not be as comfortable or stable. Discuss with your dentist to determine the best solution for your needs and budget.

Understanding "how much does a dental bridge cost with insurance" is essential for seniors planning this procedure. Although the costs can be significant, there are many ways to manage them and ensure that maintaining oral health doesn't break the bank.

Understand the costs of a dental bridge without insurance and walk through affordable alternatives for seniors in this blog.

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Nathan Justice manages community outreach programs and forums that help many senior citizens. He completed a counseling program at the University of Maryland’s Department of Psychology.
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