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Dental Bridge Vs. Dental Implants: Cost Breakdown

Written by: Jody Adams
Last updated: January 31, 2024

When it comes to replacing missing teeth, there are two popular options available: dental bridges and dental implants. Cost considerations can make choosing between the two difficult.

Dental implants are more expensive upfront than dental bridges, but there are grants that can offer free dental implants. Dental bridges are less expensive and faster to complete, although they won’t last as long as dental implants. 

This blog post will take a detailed look at the cost of dental bridge vs implant so that you can make an informed decision about which one is right for you. 

Dental Bridges Cost 

A dental bridge is a prosthetic device used to replace missing teeth by literally bridging the gap where they once stood. It is made up of two or more crowns that fit over your existing teeth, with false teeth filling in the gap between them. 

Depending on how many teeth are being replaced, bridges can cost anywhere from $500-$1,200 per tooth. This may seem like quite a wide range, but it depends on the number of crowns needed and the type of material used to make the bridge itself (e.g., porcelain, metal alloys). 

An additional cost associated with getting a dental bridge is having your existing teeth shaped to accommodate the crowns. This typically adds between $200-$1000 to your total bill. 

So, all in all, getting a dental bridge could cost anywhere from $700-$3000 per tooth. 

Aside from being less expensive, there are other advantages to dental bridges such as:

  • More likely to be covered by insurance, further reducing your overall cost.
  • Faster to heal since it doesn’t require bone grafting or invasive surgery.
  • Only requires two visits to your dentist over several weeks.

However, before finally deciding on a dental bridge, make sure you understand the drawbacks such as:

  • Usually only lasts from 5 to 7 years, so expect to pay another sum to have it replaced 
  • Looses the natural-looking appearance over time so it might require extra procedure if you want to keep it as naturally-looking as possible
  • Makes surrounding healthy teeth prone to cavities and tooth decay so you need to spend extra for their treatment

Dental Implants Cost

Dental implants offer many of the same benefits as bridges but involve more work and are more expensive upfront. A dental implant consists of an artificial tooth root that is surgically placed into your jawbone and then topped off with a false tooth or denture to complete the procedure. 

This means that, unlike bridges, implants don’t rely on your existing teeth for support—they become part of your jawbone instead. 

According to the American Academy of Implant Dentistry, the average cost of getting a single dental implant ranges from $3,000-$6,000 depending on factors such as location and type of material used for both the root and false tooth/denture. 

If you are missing several teeth, however, you may need multiple implants. This will obviously increase your costs significantly.

Dental implants also involve extra procedures like bone grafting, tooth extraction, X-rays, and anesthesia which also adds to the overall costs. 

However, there are upsides to choosing dental implants, such as:

  • Lasts longer for up to 15 years
  • Maintains a natural look longer
  • Doesn’t damage surrounding healthy teeth

Cost is the biggest drawback for dental implants, especially since insurance companies consider them as cosmetic dentistry and are not covered. It also takes longer (usually six months) and can take longer to heal.

Surgical complications may also arise if you’re not physically fit or have complications. For this reason, dental implants are only advised for those who are healthy enough to undergo an operation. 

If you are determined to get a dental implant but lack the resources, you can check our post on programs offering free dental implants for seniors

Frequently Asked Questions:

What is the average cost of a dental bridge in the U.S.?

The average cost of a dental bridge in the U.S. ranges from $500 to $1,500 per unit, depending on factors such as location, dentist's experience, and materials used. A traditional three-unit dental bridge, which replaces one missing tooth, may cost between $1,500 and $4,500. Keep in mind that prices can vary significantly, so it's essential to research and compare costs from different providers in your area.

How does the cost of a dental bridge compare to a dental implant in the U.S.?

The cost of a dental bridge is generally lower than a dental implant. A single dental implant typically costs between $1,500 and $6,000, while a dental bridge ranges from $500 to $1,500 per unit. However, dental implants may offer long-term advantages in terms of durability and bone preservation, so it's essential to consider factors beyond the initial cost when deciding between a dental bridge and an implant.

Does dental insurance cover the cost of dental bridges and implants?

Dental insurance coverage for dental bridges and implants varies depending on the policy and provider. Some insurance plans may cover a portion of the cost of dental bridges, while others may cover dental implants partially or not at all. It's essential to review your dental insurance policy and discuss the coverage options with your provider to determine the extent of coverage for both dental bridges and implant procedures.

Dental Bridge Or Dental Implant: The Decision Is Up To You

The bottom line is that when comparing dental bridges vs. dental implants in terms of cost alone, dental bridges tend to be much less expensive upfront than implants. While they have some advantages, they have some drawbacks as well (such as not offering quite as much stability or longevity as implants do, which may add to costs down the road). 

Ultimately it comes down to what kind of solution works best for you in terms of budget and desired outcome. So make sure you talk things over with your dentist before making any decisions.

If you want to learn the cost of a mini dental implant, check out our article about how much does a mini dental implant cost?

Are you looking for ways to save on dental implants? Check out our Guide on How To Get Affordable Dental Implants.

Jody Adams
Jody Adams is an accomplished editor-in-chief with a deep understanding of social care and government benefits issues. With a background in journalism and a master's degree in Public Policy, Jody has spent her career shaping the narrative around social policies and their impact on society. She has worked with renowned publications, effectively bridging the gap between complex policy analysis and public understanding. Jody's editorial expertise ensures that vital information on social care and government benefits reaches a broad audience, empowering individuals to make informed decisions.
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