A missing tooth can adversely affect your dental function, oral health, and aesthetic of your smile. Fortunately, most dental insurance plans tend to fully or partially cover the cost of treatment through dental bridgework. If your treatment is only partially covered by your insurance plan, perhaps only for basic procedures, then you will need to pay the additional charges out-of-pocket.
The average cost of treatment ranges per tooth depending on a variety of factors. The type of dental materials used includes gold, metal alloys, and porcelain. Porcelain or zirconia are the most common materials and can be nearly as expensive as gold. But the materials are tooth-colored and look like your natural teeth, which makes them a popular option. Moreover, they’re very tough and durable, giving you a long-lasting replacement tooth.
Your insurance provider may be willing to pay for traditional porcelain, abutment crown-supported restoration. But if you want to use a different material, such as zirconia bridgework, or an implant-supported bridge, then you may need to top-up the extra costs.
Other types of bridges that may be partially or fully covered depending on your situation include:
- Cantilever bridges – these are only supported by one tooth, whereas traditional bridges are supported by at least two teeth, which can affect the cost. They’re one of the most affordable bridgework options when paying out-of-pocket. However, traditional bridges will be more stable.
- Resin-bonded bridges don’t require abutment crowns or preparation of adjacent teeth to support the pontic. However, they are more expensive than the other two options, and may not be fully covered by your insurance plan.
- Implant-supported bridges are also expensive because of the additional cost of placing dental implants and the need for a dental surgeon and other specialists. The cost depends on the complexity of your treatment and the additional procedures needed to restore your complete smile.
Your dentist in San Francisco can help you to find out how much cover is provided for tooth replacement in your dental insurance plan.