If you are missing one or more teeth, your dentist may recommend a dental bridge to replace the missing teeth. A bridge consists of crowns on the two teeth on either side of the gap where the missing tooth or teeth are, and then a false tooth or false teeth in between these two crowns. This tooth replacement option is very effective for patients who aren't interested in, or aren't candidates for dental implants. However, you may be wondering how expensive a dental bridge is and how you're going to pay for this work. Take a look at some tips that can help you figure out how to pay for the dental work that you need.
Cost and Insurance
Depending on what type of bridge you need, the work can cost you anywhere from $1100 to more than $12,000. If you have dental insurance, then the good news is that your plan may cover as much as half the cost of a dental bridge. The bad news is that many dental insurance plans have annual caps, and half the cost of your dental bridge could be enough to meet or even exceed the cap, especially if you've had other work done already in the same year.
If you do have dental insurance, don't give up on getting the insurance policy to pay for as much of the work as possible until you've considered all of the possible angles. Your dentist may be able to help you come up with a plan to get the most out of your insurance. For example, if you're already near your annual cap, the dentist may be able to recommend a temporary solution to hold you over until the start of the next year, when you'll have the full amount of your annual cap to work with. But if you still can't afford the bridge, even with insurance, or if you don't have dental insurance, there are other possible options.
If you're fortunate enough to live near one of the dental schools in the U.S., that may be an excellent resource for you when it comes to having an affordable dental bridge made. Dental students need the opportunity to work on real patients before they graduate, and they need experience with all kinds of dental work. As a result, they often offer dental work at a deep discount to members of the community.
Unfortunately, this is a somewhat limited resource, as there are only 65 dental schools in 36 U.S. states, which means that you may not be close enough to one to take advantage of them. It may be worth weighing the cost of traveling to a dental school against the cost of getting your bridge for full price at home. However, make sure that you contact the school that you're considering before making travel plans – some may serve only local residents or have other restrictions that you need to know about.
You also have the option of simply negotiating with your own dentist. Failure to replace missing teeth can cause even greater problems in your mouth – you may have difficulty speaking or eating, and over time, your teeth may begin to shift into the empty space, which can lead to gum and jaw pain and make any solution more difficult. Your dentist is well aware of these complications and will likely be willing to work with you to prevent them.
You can start by investigating the cost of your bridge from other dental providers in your area. If your dentist's prices are out of step with the average price in your area, ask if they can match the lower price. You can also ask your dentist if you can pay for the work over time, in installments. Many dentists are willing to offer payment plans or financing. You might even try bartering. Some patients have had success using bartering websites to exchange their skills and talents for dental work.
Deciding that a bridge is the right tooth replacement option for you is the easy part. Paying for that bridge can be harder. However, with some persistence and creative thinking, there is a payment solution out there for you.Share
12 November 2015
After dealing with a few root canals, I realized that it was time to take my dental hygiene a more seriously. I talked with my dentist about what I could do differently, and he was full of great suggestions that would help. He walked me through different ways to brush, floss, and take care of tartar buildup, and it was really amazing to see the difference that it made. I also started taking a fluoride supplement to strengthen my enamel. When I made it to my next appointment, my dentist was blown away with the improvement. This blog is all about improving your dental appointments by keeping your teeth healthier.