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All the below content has been written by Dr. Sandip Sachar.
What is a dental bridge?
A dental bridge is a way to replace a missing tooth permanently. It is literally a way to bridge the gap between two teeth where one tooth is missing. It is constructed of the replacement tooth that is attached to the two adjacent teeth with crowns that are permanently bonded in place.
The dental bridge is constructed of porcelain or porcelain over metal. At Sachar Dental NYC, we always use the least toxic materials possible. When it comes to dental bridges, we only use porcelain or porcelain over precious metals. We do not use non-precious metals in our practice, which are still commonly used in other offices. Our dental bridges may cost us more to make in a dental laboratory, but we do not pass these costs on to our patients.
What are the types of dental bridges?
Before discussing the types of bridges, is important to understand the terminology. The false tooth that acts as the replacement of the missing tooth is called a ”pontic”. The two crowns that go over the adjacent teeth are called the ”abutments”.
There are three types of bridges in general.
The most common type of dental bridge by far, is the “traditional bridge”. A traditional dental bridge consists of a false tooth, or multiple false teeth, between two crowns that go over the adjacent existing teeth or adjacent implants. A prerequisite for traditional bridges to have adjacent teeth or dental implants on both sides of the missing teeth.
The next type of dental bridge is called a “cantilever bridge”. The cantilever bridge consists of an artificial tooth called the pontic, and only one adjacent tooth that gets a crown. The advantage of the cantilever bridge is that only one tooth needs to be crowned, which means only one tooth needs to be filed. However, the use of a cantilever bridge is restricted to very specific circumstances. The crowned tooth of the bridge has to be a very strong tooth. And, the tooth that is being replaced has to be a tooth that does not bear much load when biting or chewing. This can only work in certain circumstances, and certain areas of the mouth.
The main reason to perform a cantilever bridge versus a traditional bridge, is to preserve the as much of the natural teeth as possible. When putting a crown on a tooth, it is necessary to file that tooth. At Sachar Dental NYC, we always try to do the most conservative, and least invasive procedures possible. If we can save the natural tooth from being filed, we will. With that said, there are only certain teeth that can withstand the forces of a cantilever bridge. With our extensive experience and education, we are experts in deciding when to use a cantilever bridge, and when not to.
The last type of dental bridge is called a “Maryland bridge”. Like a cantilever bridge, a Maryland bridge is used when we want to preserve as much of the natural tooth as possible. A Maryland bridge is supported by the two adjacent teeth, however, the adjacent teeth are only filed in a very small area, and are not covered with full crowns. The artificial tooth is permanently held in place with tiny wings that are bonded to the filed areas of the adjacent teeth.
The Maryland bridge can only work in certain circumstances, and certain areas of the mouth. The main reason to perform a Maryland bridge versus a traditional bridge is to preserve as much of the natural teeth as possible. When putting a crown on a tooth, it is necessary to file that tooth. At Sachar Dental NYC, we always try to do the most conservative, and least invasive procedures possible. If we can save the natural tooth from being filed, we will. With that said, there are only certain teeth that can withstand the forces of a Maryland bridge. With our extensive experience and education, we are experts in deciding when to use a Maryland bridge, and when not to.
Why would someone need a dental bridge?
A dental bridge is used when a person is missing a tooth and wants to fill the space. The best possible procedure for a tooth replacement is a dental implant, however, not everyone is a candidate for a dental implant, and not everyone wants to have a dental implant surgery.
What are the benefits of a dental bridge (versus not replacing a tooth)?
A dental implant is always the optimal procedure for replacing a missing tooth, however, some people are not candidates for dental implants, or do not wish to undergo elective surgery for implants. For these patients, a fixed dental bridge is the next best choice. A fixed bridge has the benefit of replacing a missing tooth permanently without the need for surgery.
Additional benefits of a fixed dental bridge when a dental implant is not used include:
- Cosmetics, especially for front teeth
- Balance the load of chewing
- Maintain the shape of the face
- Prevent teeth from drifting into the space where the tooth is missing
- Restore the ability to chew
- Restore the ability to speak normally
- Allows for a permanent placement of a missing tooth when upgrading from a removable partial denture
How is a dental bridge made?
Prior to making your dental bridge, our expert dentists will assess the situation and discuss with you the possibilities. The decision on which procedure is ideal for each patient’s specific needs is complex, and requires a proper diagnosis. At Sachar Dental NYC, our dentists have extensive experience in making dental bridges having practiced in New York City for over two decades. Additionally, all of our dentists have completed extensive training at Spear Education for Advanced Dentistry in Scottsdale, Arizona. For the more complex cases, we have a specialist, prosthodontist, on our team and in our office who only specializes in complex bridges and crowns. Our dentists and specialists will make the decision on what type of dental bridge is best indicated for your individual and specific needs. As always at Sachar Dental NYC, we utilize the least invasive and most conservative approaches available. Our goal is to preserve as much of the natural teeth as possible, and avoid filing teeth whenever we can.
In order to make a dental bridge, a minimum of two visits are necessary. On the first visit you will be given local anesthesia in order to make the procedure as comfortable as possible, and pain-free. The anchor teeth will be filed in preparation to receive a bridge. A mold is then taken of the teeth and sent to our dental laboratory. We will send a prescription with specific instructions on how to fabricate the dental bridge. A temporary bridge is then fabricated in our office and temporarily bonded in place.
On your second visit, the temporary bridge will be removed. The teeth will be cleaned in preparation for the permanent fixed dental bridge that has been returned from our dental laboratory. At Sachar Dental NYC, we only use the best dental laboratories in New York City. The dental laboratories may costs us more, but we do not pass these costs on to our patients. We will then assess the dental bridge to ensure that it fits perfectly, and all the margins are fully sealed such that there are no gaps that would allow bacteria to get in and cause the bridge to fail. We also evaluate the bridge to make sure that the bite is fully balanced with even load on both sides. Once we are sure that the bridge fits perfectly, it is permanently bonded in place to the anchor teeth. Rarely, if we determine that the bridge does not fit perfectly, we will send it back to our dental laboratory for an adjustment to be made, or for a new bridge to be made, and have the patient return for a third visit.
What can I expect after a dental bridge?
After the first visit, you will be instructed not to eat until the anesthesia wears off. It is normal to have some mild soreness in the first 24 hours. You will be instructed to avoid chewing sticky or chewy foods on the side of the temporary bridge. You may brush the temporary bridge softly.
After your second visit, when you receive the permanent bridge, you will be instructed to avoid chewing sticky or chewy foods on the side of the dental bridge for 24 hours. You may start brushing the bridge normally and we will show you how to floss using a floss threader. We will evaluate your dental bridge on your next normally scheduled appointment for a checkup and dental cleaning.
How do I care for my dental bridge?
After receiving your dental bridge, you will be instructed to brush normally. Because the teeth of the dental bridge are all connected, you are not able to floss normally. We will instruct you how to floss with a dental floss threader that allows the floss to be placed under the bridge.
How long should a dental bridge last?
With proper oral hygiene at home, regular checkups and professional dental cleanings twice per year, a fixed dental bridge will last for a very long time. We have many patients that return to our practice with fixed dental bridges that we placed over 20 years ago, and have not had any problems to date.
What is the cost of a fixed dental bridge in Midtown Manhattan, NYC?
At Sachar Dental NYC, we have a one-time fee of $1,800 per tooth for a dental bridge. This includes all visits related to the dental bridge. It will be a minimum of 2 visits. Our cost includes reshaping the anchor teeth and taking a mold on the first visit. We will also place a temporary dental bridge on the first visit. On the subsequent visit, the permanent dental bridge will be checked to ensure its fit, and permanently bonded to your teeth. This visit is also included in our one-time cost. Our cost also includes all follow-up visits related to the dental bridge. Most PPO dental insurance plans cover the cost of the dental bridge at 50%, up to your maximum annual limit. We will submit the claim to your insurance for you, and only charge you for your percentage on the day of your visit. We will then collect the insurance balance from your insurance company directly.
Does dental insurance cover the cost of a dental bridge?
Most PPO dental insurance plans cover the cost of a dental bridge as a covered service at 50%, up to the annual plan limit. As always at Sachar Dental NYC, we will call your insurance plan in order to check on your dental benefits prior to your visit. This way, we will able to tell you what your out-of-pocket costs will be on the day of your visit. We will then submit a claim to your dental insurance and collect the insurance payment directly from them.
Can I use flexible spending dollars or a medical savings account for these charges?
Yes, you may be able to use your medical savings accounts or flexible
spending dollars to cover charges related to your treatment. At the
time of your service, we will provide you with all the necessary
documentation and receipts.
Do you offer payment plans for treatment?
At Sachar Dental NYC, we offer interest free financing through Lending
Club and Care Credit. In 15 minutes, we will let you know if you are
approved for interest-free financing. These options will enable you to
make payments over the next 12-18 months without any interest charged.
Why are we the best dentists in NYC for a dental bridge?
As always, at Sachar Dental NYC, we utilize the least invasive procedures and the most conservative options possible to solve your problems. We always try to preserve as much of the natural teeth as possible. This applies when it comes to dental bridges. We will always select the most conservative dental bridge options for each patient’s individual circumstances.
We have extensive experience and training in performing dental bridges. All of our dentists have undergone extensive training at Spear Education for Advanced Dentistry in Scottsdale, Arizona. Additionally, for the most complex cases, we have a prosthodontist specialist on our team and in our office, who specializes only in crowns and bridges.
We always use the least toxic materials possible. We only use porcelain or porcelain over precious metals for our dental bridges. We never use less expensive non-precious metals in making any of our dental bridges. When we bond our dental bridges to the anchor teeth, we only use BPA-free bonding cement. We only use the best dental laboratories in New York City. Although our dental bridges may cost us more in our dental laboratory fees, we do not pass these costs on to our patients.
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