How much do dental bridges cost? (Conventional and Maryland)
How much does a dental bridge cost?
This page provides price information for the various kinds of bridges that dentists place. This includes both conventional (tooth-borne or dental-implant supported) and Maryland types.
Factors that affect bridge cost.
As you’ll see below, the rate charged for different types of bridges (metal, ceramic, PFM and Maryland) each vary.
And then within these categories, there are additional factors that influence the restoration’s price. They are: 1) The number of “units” and, if involved, 2) Specifically what type of dental alloy is used. If you need more information about these issues, use their respective links to jump ahead.
1) “Conventional” dental bridge fees – Retainers and pontics.
- Single bridge unit – Porcelain-fused-to-metal (noble/precious metal). (Note #4)
$855.00 – $1615.00
Low fee = Small rural city or town.
High fee = Large metropolitan area.
[How we calculate our cost estimates for procedures.]
Other terms that apply- PFM, porcelain-fused-to-gold, PFG
- Single bridge unit – Porcelain-fused-to-metal (non-precious/base metal). (Note #4)
$755.00 – $1310.00
Other terms that apply- PFM
- Single bridge unit – Gold / All-metal – precious/noble metal. (Note #4)
$785.00 – $1460.00
Other terms that apply- White gold
- Single bridge unit – All-metal – non-precious/base metal. (Note #4)
$660.00 – $1370.00
- Single bridge unit – All-ceramic.
$845.00 – $1565.00
Things you need to know about how to calculate a bridge’s cost.
Note #1 – Per-unit fees.
Fees for dental bridges are calculated on a per “unit” basis. The term “unit” refers to a single tooth or tooth location (space) over which the bridge spans. There are two types of units, retainers and pontics.
1) Bridge retainers.
This type of unit refers to one of the supporting portions of the bridge (that part that encases and rests upon an underlying tooth or dental implant).
2) Bridge pontics.
A pontic is a unit that occupies a missing tooth’s space (a location where no underlying tooth or implant exists).
Bridge cost = (Per unit fee) X (Number of units)
In terms of calculating the cost for a dental bridge, one simply needs to add up the number of units the bridge will involve and multiply this number by the per-unit fee.
As an example:
- A single missing tooth is typically replaced with a 3 unit bridge. Two retainers (end units of the bridge that encase the existing teeth lying to either side of the missing tooth’s space) and one pontic (the unit that replaces the missing tooth).
Note #2 – Fees for retainers vs. pontics.
While possibly not identical, the fees charged by dentists for bridge retainers and pontics are typically very similar (both for tooth and implant-supported bridges). For this reason, we have combined our information for these different types of units into a single estimate.
Note #3 – Fees for implant vs. tooth-supported bridges.
Per-unit fees are typically very similar for both tooth supported and dental implant supported bridges.
But with an implant, you’ll typically have the cost of placing the implant (a separate surgical procedure), plus the cost of an implant abutment (the part screwed onto the implant that the bridge actually rests on), and then the cost of the bridge itself.
Note #4 – Types of dental alloys.
When a dental bridge contains a metal component (all-metal or porcelain-fused-to-metal restorations) they can be constructed using any one of a number of different types of alloys.
In general, they are categorized as non-precious (base), semi-precious (noble) and precious (high noble) depending on their composition. (More information about dental alloys.)
Things to know:
- Higher precious metal content alloys offer advantages both during the fabrication and crown-seating processes. And for this reason, are typically considered to be preferable.
- A decision against using a precious alloy is typically based on cost or limitations imposed by the patient’s dental plan.
- In the case of an all-metal bridge, the color of the alloy used (golden-yellow vs. white gold) might be an important factor to the patient.
Fees for replacement dental bridges.
Typically the cost of a replacement bridge will be the same as what your dentist currently charges for new (initial placement) cases (see the fees we show above).
Even though less tooth preparation (trimming) will be required this time around, overall the amount of appointment time needed, and the total amount of expense that the dentist incurs (such as the dental laboratory’s bill for making your new restoration), will be essentially the same as with initial placement, hence the same fee is warranted.
Insurance benefits for replacement bridges sometimes fall victim to policy exclusions and limitations, most of which are fairly identical to those for dental crowns. We discuss these types of restrictions on this page.
How much does your dentist pay for your dental bridge?
Essentially no dentist actually makes the dental bridges they place. They instead take an impression of their patient’s teeth and forward it to a laboratory where a dental technician then fabricates it.
When compared to the fee you’re charged, the price your dentist pays the laboratory may seem quite small. You need to keep in mind however that this cost only makes up a portion of the total expense that your dentist incurs when they perform this procedure.
Estimates of dental laboratory fees for dental bridges: (Your dentist’s cost.)
- Porcelain-fused-to-metal (precious metal) - $135.00 to $175.00
- Porcelain-fused-to-metal (non-precious metal) - $80.00 to $140.00
- All-metal (precious metal/gold alloy) - $145.00 to $180.00
- All-metal (non-precious metal) - $85.00 to $135.00
- All-ceramic (e.g. Emax, Zirconia) - $100.00 to $170.00
- Maryland bridge (see below), porcelain/metal construction, replacing 1 tooth - $180.00 to $255.00
- Maryland bridge, porcelain/metal construction, additional tooth - $90.00 to $140.00
▲ Section references – LMTmag
2) “Maryland” dental bridge fees.
- Single bridge unit – Cast metal retainer.
$335.00 – $640.00
- Single bridge unit – Porcelain-fused-to-metal pontic.
$685.00 – $1240.00
Like conventional dental bridges, fees for Maryland bridges are determined on a per-unit basis.
The typical Maryland bridge.
The classic use of a Maryland bridge is to replace a single missing front tooth.
This would be considered to be a 3-unit bridge.
- Two of the units are “retainers” (the metal wings that are bonded to the teeth on each side of the space).
- The middle unit is the “pontic” (the porcelain-covered portion of the bridge that replaces the missing tooth).
Advantages and disadvantages of Maryland bridges.
The great advantage of replacing teeth with this type of bridge is that the natural teeth on each end don’t need to be trimmed nearly as much as with a conventional one (and, for the most part, only on their backside). Another advantage is that this type of bridge cost less.
The general disadvantage is one of longevity. As a general rule, conventional bridges tend to provide longer, more predictable service.
Fees for replacement Maryland bridges.
Just as with conventional bridges, the cost of a replacement Maryland bridge will usually be the same as what your dentist currently charges for new (initial placement) cases. Similar types of insurance restrictions will usually apply too (use link for details).
Page references sources:
LMTmag.com Crown & Bridge Restoration Fees.
Because the procedure estimates we show are developed by different means, you may find the survey of dental fees published by DentistryIQ an interesting independent source: DentistryIQ – 2017 dental fee analysis by region and CDT procedure code
All reference sources for topic Fixed Bridges.