Comparing the Cost of Implants to Fixed Bridgework

Dental Health
By: Spirit Dental
May 10, 2017

Woman counting money to pay for birdgework

Updated July 2021

Losing a tooth in an accident or to decay can definitely be traumatizing. Thankfully, your dentist has the tools necessary to restore your smile, as well as prevent other oral problems that could result from missing teeth. Whether you’ve lost just a single tooth or several teeth, you can choose to have dental implants set in place or you can go for fixed bridgework.

When you’re choosing between implants and bridgework, there are a few things to consider, but your final decision might very well come down to cost. That’s why we’ve compiled some helpful information regarding the cost of both of these options so you can make the right choice for your smile and your budget.

Dental Implants: Aesthetically Pleasing but Pricier

  • A dental implant is expected to last 15 years or longer, and it will look just like a real tooth once it is properly set into place. You can also expect that cleaning your implant will be just like cleaning your other teeth: brush, floss, rinse and see your dentist at least twice a year.
  • If you are planning on getting a dental implant, you should expect to visit your dentist multiple times (perhaps up to six appointments) over the course of three to six months, as the procedure will need to be completed in stages.
  • Dental implants could actually be more affordable in the long run, even though they will initially be more expensive than fixed bridgework. This is simply because they are expected to last longer.
  • One dental implant might cost $4,000 or more, but a problem that many patients encounter is that implants are rarely covered by insurance providers. However, a Spirit dental plan is different, as every plan offers coverage for implants, and we offer immediate dental insurance so you don't have to wait. This means that, despite the initial high cost, you might be able to afford high-quality implants after all. Woo-hoo!

Fixed Bridgework: Less Expensive but Requires Replacement

  • Fixed bridgework can also restore your smile, but it might only last up to seven years. Although natural looking just like dental implants, you can’t clean bridges in the same way that you clean all of your other teeth. Instead, dental bridges need to be cleaned using a special brush and floss.
  • Here’s a perk of getting bridgework: it will typically only require up to three visits with your dentist over the course of a few weeks, so you will complete this procedure sooner than you would a dental implant.
  • Although bridgework will likely need to be replaced years sooner than implants, the initial cost might be more affordable. Plus, more dental insurance plans, including Spirit plans, will typically be willing to cover this service.
  • The total cost will depend upon the type of bridge that you get. For example, a resin-bonded bridge might cost up to $2,300, while a cantilever bridge might cost over $4,000. Don’t forget to also factor in the costs of having the bridgework replaced every decade or so. It adds up!

Having the Right Dental Insurance Is Key!

Your dentist will be the first person you turn to when you need to have one or more teeth replaced. He or she will help you choose between dental implants and bridgework by going over the pros and cons of each, as well as discussing your oral health to figure out which option would really be best for the long run.

Regardless of which of these two options you choose to go with, having the right insurance will come in handy and eliminate the worry that comes with paying for these expensive procedures. With a Spirit plan*, you can rest easy knowing that you can receive coverage for both bridgework and implants.**

So the good news is that modern dentistry has provided patients with products that will replace missing teeth and make your smile as natural looking as possible. Now it’s up to you to decide whether you’d prefer implants or bridges to get the job done. Not sure if an implant or bridge procedure is covered under your insurance? Get a quote from Spirit Dental & Vision to see what you’re covered for. 

Disclaimer:* If an insured has lost one or more teeth prior to their policy effective date, Spirit will not pay for a prosthetic device that replaces such teeth unless the device also replaces one or more natural teeth lost or extracted while covered under this policy. **Coverage varies by plan. 


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