Dental bridges are an affordable way to replace damaged teeth. Here’s everything you need to know about the best options, the procedure, the costs, and possible risks.

Dental bridges are one of the most common types of dental prostheses.

  • They are not only suitable for closing gaps between teeth, but also offer health benefits.
  • However, they are not exactly cheap & the treatment turns out quite elaborate – which is why you should inform yourself beforehand.

In this article I go into all the important topics. Just jump to the sections that interest you the most – or read everything from top to bottom.

All of the information is interesting if you are thinking about getting a dental bridge.

What is a dental bridge anyway?

The loss of a tooth is neither a beautiful, nor a particularly aesthetic experience.

dentalbridge look

Dental bridges close gaps between teeth & replace damaged or lost teeth.

Nobody likes walking around with a large gap between their teeth that is clearly visible every time they smile.

  • Fortunately, not only entire rows of teeth, but also individual teeth can be replaced without anyone noticing.
  • So with new self-confidence, you can participate in life normally, without having to be embarrassed every time you laugh.

Summarized:The dental bridge is a fixed denture that closes the gap between 2 teeth.

Your dentist can also treat larger gaps with a bridge: Up to four teeth can be replaced with it.

Dental bridges at a glance

A dental bridge consists of two parts: the pontic and the abutments.

  1. The pontic serves as a tooth replacement and is permanently fixed by the abutments.
  2. The two teeth adjacent to the gap are used as abutment teeth.

First, your dentist will grind down the teeth before then crowning them with a dental crown. This pretty much guarantees a stable fit.

dental-crown look

Dental crowns are placed on both ground-down teeth and implants.

Dental technology now offers a super adhesive that allows artificial dental implants to be used as bridge abutments as well.

The treatment process at the dentist

To properly place a dental bridge, your dentist will need several sessions.

The first session: grinding the teeth

The neighboring teeth, which serve as bridge abutments, must first be ground. During this process, the doctor removes caries, tartar and other irregularities. If necessary, it may be necessary to insert a filling.

dentalbridge treatment

In the first session, your dentist will prepare your teeth for the placement of the bridge.

  • The trimmed teeth must also be parallel to each other in order to guarantee that the framework will hold.
  • If this is not the case, the dentist will resort to an attachment bridge instead of a conventional bridge (more on the differences below).

You can also discuss with your dentist during the first session which tooth color you would like and what material the bridge should be made of.

A provisional (interim denture) will also be placed and impressions will be taken to create a customized dental bridge.

The second session: the interim trial

During the second session, your dentist will place the dental bridge on a trial basis to see how well it fits.

toothache

Poorly fitting bridges cause pain – which is why they should fit quite snugly.

If the denture causes a feeling of tension or pressure pain, it must be adjusted again.

  • If everything fits so far, the doctor sends the dental bridge to the laboratory again and a final fine-tuning is made.
  • Among other things, the laboratory veneers the prosthesis with ceramic and adjusts the shape again if necessary.

A second fitting at the dentist usually only occurs if the dental bridge consists of several units.

The third session: the insertion of the bridge

First, the anchors (crowns) are placed on the dental abutments and firmly bonded. This ensures a firm hold.

After that, your dentist inserts the dental bridge. Any inaccuracies of fit can be analyzed and corrected.

Another appointment will be scheduled for the final checkup, and after that, it is recommended to go for routine checkups every four to six months.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of a dental bridge?

Dental bridges offer several advantages over other dentures. One is their long durability.

With good care (read more below), it lasts up to twenty years.

dentalbridge durability

The durability of dental bridges can be extended with thorough cleaning & regular check-up visits.

On the other hand, the bridge is ready much faster. Implants are the time-consuming – it can take several months before the „new“ tooth is firmly seated in the mouth.

There are, however, also disadvantages. Healthy teeth must be ground down to act the solid pillar. As a result, precious and healthy tooth structure is lost.

There is also an increased risk of infection from this procedure. If too much tooth structure is removed, germs can enter the interior of the tooth and infect the tooth root.

Cost of a dental bridge

Unfortunately, dental prosthesis is a very expensive matter nowadays, because rarely the co-payments of the health insurance companies are particularly high and you are left with the majority of the costs.

  • Bridges are usually more expensive than dentures, but a cheaper alternative to implants.
  • While it is decided individually which type of denture is considered, the cost point is usually a decisive criterion.

Exactly the costs can not be named. This always depends on the case, the material used and the working time.

dentalbridge cost

Dental bridges are an expensive investment – compare is therefore worthwhile.

Also, the amount of co-payments is always calculated individually. Not every health insurance pays the same.

Insist on a cost estimate & compare

It is best to first get advice from your dentist before you negotiate the amount of the cost coverage with your health insurance.

  • Generally, the cost of a dental bridge is around $800 – $1500.
  • A good and long-standing bonus book is very profitable here.

By up to 30%, can increase the fixed allowance.

The standard care for a dental bridge

The standard care (i.e. medically necessary procedures) is usually completely covered by the health insurance. But what exactly counts as standard care for this dental prosthesis?

ToothLower jawveneer up to and including 4th tooth

Area Regulatory care
Invisible area At least partial veneering of your Bridge
Not visible posterior area Not veneered dental bridge
Upper jaw Veneer up to and including 5th tooth

You will have to pay for anything beyond that yourself.

What co-payment do I still have to pay then?

Additional costs arise if you want a tooth-colored full veneer in the visible as well as non-visible area.

Aesthetic and somewhat more expensive material requests must also be borne by you.

Which is better suited – implant or bridge?

This question is asked by many who want to have broken teeth erstezen. Both methods offer advantages as well as disadvantages.

dentalbridge or implant

As always, if in doubt, ask your dentist. He or she can advise you far better than any article on the Internet.

Provision by means of implant

Medically more sensible is the use of a dental implant. Most patients also choose this type of therapy.

  • First of all, you have to wait until the structure underneath the lost tooth has completely healed. Only then can further steps be taken.
  • After that, an artificial tooth root (the implant body) is inserted. Finally, the doctor attaches the visible dental implant.

Only good oral hygiene and check-ups with the dentist (about every six months) are enough to enjoy the intact implant for a long time.

An implant offers several advantages: For one thing, it prevents the jawbone from receding due to permanent stress. For another, the implant is usually much more durable than a bridge.

Also, visually no difference can be made to a real tooth. In addition, the teeth do not have to be ground down, thus preventing structural damage.

One of the biggest disadvantages is the cost: up to 3000€ can cost a single implant.

provisional implant

Implants are the preferred choice in many cases – when cost is not an issue

Provision by means of a bridge

Bridge also offers a good and, above all, a cost-effective result.

  • However, the risks of infection are greater if attention is not paid to good and careful oral hygiene.
  • The bottom line is that both options offer good results, differing mainly in terms of cost.

If money is just tight, then a bridge also performs well & can replace lost or extracted teeth almost as good as an implant.

Before any treatment, you should make sure to get detailed advice from your dentist.

Discomforts after dental bridge placement

Sometimes pain or other discomforts appear after dental bridge placement

dentalbridge pain

Continue reading here to find out what’s normal and when you should go to the dentist

Unfamiliar sensation

As with braces, dental bridges also make you feel unfamiliar.

This is absolutely normal and you will get used to it within a few days. As long as you don’t feel any pain, but only an unpleasant sensation in your mouth, you don’t have to worry.

Hypersensitive teeth

It is possible that the nerves of the teeth have been irritated by the treatment.

  • When eating or drinking food that is too hot or too cold, a pulling sensation travels through the entire mouth.
  • If the teeth are very sensitive, even breathing with the mouth open can lead to this pulling.

pain sensitive tooth neck causes

The hot-cold pain should only be temporary.

Most of the time, the nerves calm down after a few weeks and the uncomfortable feeling disappears.

However, if the discomfort persists, then you should consult a doctor. Possibly this is an indication of exposed tooth necks & an incipient periodontitis.

Uncomfortable pressure

If the bridge does not fit properly and is possibly too large, a pressing pain can occur. This is when the denture presses against the adjacent teeth.

If the feeling of pressure does not disappear after a few weeks at the latest, consult your dentist.

Because in the worst case, your dentures may shift completely and your jaw anatomy will no longer fit.

Tip: Read more about possible causes of pressure pain when you bite down here.

Gum pain and inflammation

Our gums are very sensitive. Even pressing too hard when brushing our teeth can lead to gingivitis, or inflammation of the gums

periodontitis progression

Untreated gingivitis can progress to gum disease.

  • Redness, bleeding gums and a throbbing at the gums therefore occur more often and should not yet be a cause for concern.
  • This applies, however, only for the 1st days after treatment – hold the complaints, you should visit a doctor unconditionally.

Just be extra careful when brushing, so as not to aggravate the inflammation. It is best to refrain from using electric toothbrushes or sonic toothbrushes for some time.

General pain

Pain after dental bridge placement is often common

That’s why the dentist often prescribes a painkiller to make the symptoms tolerable.

dentalbridge medication

After a short time, however, the pain should subside and disappear altogether. At

When should I go to the dentist?

If the pain does not weaken or disappear completely after a few weeks, it is advisable to consult your doctor.

Also, if you get a fever, lose your appetite, your cheeks swell, pus forms in your mouth, or the bleeding gums do not get better, these are reasons to see your doctor.

dentist treatment

Allergic reactions

Normally, dental bridges are made of relatively well-tolerated material.

  • However, our bodies are unpredictable and dentures can cause allergic reactions
  • Symptoms such as itching, pustules, fever, a burning sensation, inflammation, shortness of breath, and pus or blisters in the mouth should not be taken lightly.

Go immediately to a doctor. Usually, the bridge is then taken out and a new one is inserted. This then consists of a material that is friendly to allergy sufferers.

Help, the dental bridge is loose!

Of course, no doctor can completely guarantee that a bridge will last for decades.

It sometimes happens that the bridge becomes loose.

Signs of a bridge that is too loose

Often, a loose dental bridge causes pain when biting.

loose dental bridge symptoms

The sooner you recognize a loose dental bridge, the sooner you can treat the problem.

Sometimes, however, sufferers remain symptom-free. However, the patient notices a wobbling, clacking, or sucking sound.

If you can then also no longer bite properly, otherwise the bridge will get stuck, consult a dentist immediately.

Tip: A loose dental bridge often resembles a loose filling. Read more in this article: Pain after a dental filling.

What are the dangers of a loose dental bridge?

There are two important reasons to fix a loose dental bridge as soon as possible

  1. First, food debris can collect underneath the dentures.
  2. Germs settle and can not be reached with a toothbrush.

The result: dental caries, rotten teeth and inflammation arise.

loose dental bridges lead to tooth decay

Second, the longer you wait, the less likely you are to save the bridge. This is because a completely new dental bridge will then have to be made, and the cost will be quite a bit higher.

Why does the dental bridge become loose in the first place?

There are several reasons why the dental bridge becomes loose

Tooths move in the jaw

Yes, it’s not just failing baby teeth that become loose. Your own teeth can also slowly loosen as you get older, causing the fit of your dentures to shift.

Wisdom teeth that have not been removed can also promote jaw misalignment.

Poor technical implementation of dentures

Nobody is infallible. Even dentists make mistakes. It may be that the bridge was not properly anchored during insertion and therefore begins to wobble.

Unhealthy abutment teeth

If the abutment teeth are affected by caries, the bridge’s retention is at risk.

Deep-rooted inflammation (e.g., dental root inflammation) can also cause the abutment teeth to loosen first, and then the denture.

Inflamed gums

If the gums become inflamed, they swell. This can cause the denture to lift up and not sit properly on the socket.

tooth root inflammation dentist

Artificial teeth require at least as much care as real ones.

Not only can real teeth break off, but so can dentures.

Bone loss in the jaw

Demineralization of the tooth structure or jaw can no longer provide proper support.

Poor oral hygiene

Inadequate oral hygiene promotes all kinds of diseases in the oral cavity and thus leads to the loosening of the bridge.

Tooth grinding

Nightly teeth grinding (bruxism) puts a lot of stress on dentures and can cause the bridge to loosen over time.

bruxism treatment

Many sufferers do not even realize that they grind their teeth. Often, only their partner makes us aware of it.

What to do if the bridge is loose?

There is an urgent need for action. See your dentist immediately.

If you act quickly, the dentist can repair your bridge.

If you wait too long, it will need to be completely replaced.

  • When the denture is repaired, the pontic is usually knocked down and reattached using a special rod.
  • The bridge can also be simply re-bonded. For this, one uses cement again and the dental bridge holds again.

Sometimes the loosening of the denture is no longer possible properly, for example, if only one side is loose and the other is not.

reinsert dental bridge

Depending on the condition of the teeth, the treatment of loose bridges can be quite extensive.

Then, with great effort, the entire bridge must be removed. In the process, it usually breaks and a new one has to be made.

Can I repair the bridge myself?

It is strongly discouraged to try to do it yourself.

Although there are so-called do-it-yourself salvage kits available for purchase on the Internet, a professional should always be involved, because:

The dental bridge is bonded with dental cement.

  • This sits even with a loosened prosthesis still on the abutment teeth and can only be removed by a dentist.
  • Also, you cannot guarantee a perfect fit yourself, possibly making it worse than it already is.

A perfect fit is important, otherwise germs can grow underneath the bridge and trigger tooth decay & bad teeth.

The proper care of the dental bridge

Dental care is very important. Whether you have a denture in your mouth or not.

  • This is the only way to ensure that your bridge will stay in good condition for a long time.
  • Brush your teeth twice a day, after breakfast and before bedtime.

A good electric toothbrush provides better results than a manual toothbrush.

Note:Whether you choose a toothbrush from Oral-B, a sonic toothbrush from Philips, or a true ultrasonic toothbrush after all, is not that important for dental care – each of these variants makes brushing much easier.

More tips for dental care with bridge

  • The additional use of antibacterial mouthwash is recommended by dentists and reduces the appearance of inflammation.
  • Use dental floss daily. This will help you reach hard-to-reach places between your teeth.

For dental bridges, there are special floss or interdental brushes with applicator. So you can also get under the bridge.

proper dental care avoids dental bridges

Proper dental care not only increases the durability of dentures, but also helps avoid them in the first place.

In many cases, you can also clean hard-to-reach areas quite conveniently with oral irrigators – instead of annoying dental floss, a jet of water then ensures clean interdental spaces.

If you have a removable bridge, you can clean it particularly easily and thoroughly. Meanwhile, there are cleaning tabs * , which do the job for you.

And very important: Also visit your dentist regularly for checkups. So you ensure the longest possible dental bridge, which you can enjoy.

What types of bridges are there?

Depending on the material and fastening technique, dental technology distinguishes between different types of dental bridges.

The Conventional Bridge

The so-called gold standard among bridges. As already described, the two adjacent teeth are simply used as abutments here.

  • First of all, these must be ground down before a fastening is possible.
  • But do not worry! Grinding is done quickly and usually does not cause permanent damage to your teeth.

After grinding, composite cement is used to firmly attach the crown.

The adhesive bridge (Maryland bridge)

Also with this method, the dentist has to grind down the abutment teeth.

After that, he glues the metallic rests on the inside of the teeth, which are then to support the pontic.

The split bridge (attachment bridge)

Sometimes the abutment teeth between a bridge are not parallel. Then grinding them down without damaging the pulp is often not possible.

In such cases, a split bridge is used. Visually, this cannot be distinguished from a real tooth.

The extension bridge (free-end bridge)

If the back molars are to be replaced, the bridge can often only be fixed on one side. In this case, it is called a free-end bridge or a terminal bridge construction.

The full cast bridge

This bridge construction is made of either precious metal alloys (usually gold alloys) or non-precious metals such as titanium.

The alloys make the bridge higher quality and longer lasting.

The all-ceramic bridge

This bridge is popular with allergy sufferers. The metal-free version is made of zirconium oxide and other high-performance ceramics. Zirconium does not usually cause allergic reactions

The ceramic veneer (composite ceramic bridge)

The bridge framework is made of metal and therefore provides additional stability.

inlay ceramic

Ceramic is long lasting & indistinguishable from real teeth.

In the visible areas (the artificial dental crowns), the framework is surrounded by a tooth-colored ceramic layer to be visually indistinguishable from the rest of the teeth.

The plastic veneer bridge

Instead of being covered with a ceramic layer, the metal framework here is covered with plastic.

Plastic is less expensive than ceramic and modern versions often last several years. More information can be found here: Composite Fillings.

Single-span and multi-span bridges

If you are replacing only a single tooth, you will need a single-span bridge.

A row of teeth can be replaced with a multi-span bridge with multiple units.

As a reminder, a maximum of four consecutive missing teeth can be replaced with a dental bridge.

The removable bridge

This is a special form of dental prosthesis and offers the advantage that the patient can remove the bridge piece for cleaning.

removable dental bridge

Removable dental bridges are easy to clean & making them easier to maintain.

Besides the visual benefits, the dental bridge also serves other purposes:

The function of the dentition is restored: Speaking, eating, and laughing are possible again normally.

In addition, it is also important for the anatomy of the dentition. This is because when there is a gap, shifting of the teeth can occur.

Conclusion

I hope this overview of dental crowns has been helpful to you. It’s best to start improving your personal dental care today

This will not only save you from expensive treatments at the dentist, but will also ensure naturally beautiful teeth.

Take some time to learn more about proper dental care. This page is the best place to do so:

avoid plastic filling

Better above all painless than any treatment: proper dental care.

  • Familiarize yourself with general dental care tips for healthy teeth & start prevention today.
  • Here you can learn everything about the right toothbrush & recommended models: Electric toothbrushes in the test.
  • Here’s all important info on how to remove discoloration and get white teeth.
  • In this section you will find more help for when common dental problems.

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