How much does a dental bridge cost with insurance?

Share this article

If you are missing teeth, dental bridges may be able to help and dental insurance can help you cover the costs.

One of the time-proven ways to replace a missing tooth is with a permanent dental bridge. Also called a fixed bridge because it is cemented permanently in place, it consists of a false tooth or teeth that are permanently attached to the natural teeth on either side of the space. The false tooth helps to replace the missing tooth. Much like a bridge over a river, the false tooth “bridges” across the space left by the missing tooth and is held in place by the natural teeth on either side of the gap, called abutments.

A background decorative of Blue color

Replacing your missing teeth with a dental bridge can help keep your natural teeth from drifting into the gap, which can cause your bite to become unbalanced, typically leading to uneven wear of your remaining teeth. They can also support your remaining teeth, help you chew and speak clearly, and support your cheek and lip muscles—preventing your jaw and lips from sagging.

How much does a dental bridge cost with insurance? While the overall cost of a dental bridge depends on many factors, dental insurance can help you cover the costs of a dental bridge and replace missing teeth.

How Guardian Direct® insurance covers dental bridges

Guardian Direct® dental insurance can help with the cost of implants. Guardian Direct Dental Advantage Achiever and Core PPO plans cover 50% of implants after a 12-month waiting period. The Dental Advantage Core plan has a lifetime maximum benefit on implants of $700, while the Dental Advantage Achiever plan has a maximum benefit of $1,000.

What is a dental bridge?

When a dentist must pull a tooth, either due to decay, gum disease, or trauma, a gap is left between the other teeth. A traditional dental bridge consists of two parts: a false tooth, called a pontic, and attachments to the teeth on either side of the space, called abutments¹. The false tooth and the abutments are permanently fused together and, when placed in the mouth, they help bridge the gap left by the missing tooth.

This false tooth can help restore your ability to chew, bite, and speak. Your dentist will cement a fixed dental bridge permanently in your mouth so it will not move or slip when you are eating or speaking. You can laugh and talk with confidence.

Dental bridges can typically be made with several materials: gold, alloys, porcelain, and zirconia². Likewise, there are several types of bridge designs that you and your dentist can discuss before making a decision about the best design and materials to use in your unique situation.

What different types of dental bridges are available?

There are four basic types of dental bridges. The type your dentist recommends for you will depend on factors such as the health of your other teeth, the number of missing teeth that must be replaced, as well as insurance coverage and your personal budget.

Traditional dental bridges

Traditional dental bridges are the type that dentists have used for decades and have proven to be reliable and long-lasting.

These dental bridges consist of one or more false teeth (pontics) that are held in place and attached to crowns on either side of the gap (abutments)³. When the abutments are cemented onto the adjacent teeth, the pontic bridges the gap and supplies a stable, solid surface for chewing.

One drawback to traditional fixed dental bridges is the need to place crowns on the abutment teeth. Those teeth might be free of any decay or defect. Yet, crowning them is necessary to provide stability for the bridge⁴. If you decide to get a different type of bridge later on, the abutment teeth will still need to be protected by crowns.

Cantilever bridges

Unlike traditional bridges, cantilever bridges use one abutment rather than two⁵. This means that the abutment tooth bears all the forces during chewing. Therefore, the abutment tooth must be strong and able to bear the stress. The downside of cantilever bridges is that the abutments sometime fracture or come loose, due to the amount of stress placed on it during chewing.

Maryland bridges

A less invasive type of bridge is the Maryland bridge. A metal bar or framework holds the false tooth in place⁶. The framework bonds to the adjacent teeth. Your dentist does not have to crown the adjacent teeth, as with traditional and cantilever bridges.

Maryland bridges can come uncemented and do not function well in areas that receive a lot of force during eating, such as the molar areas. Some patients may have problems with the bars and framework being uncomfortable and getting in the way of the gums and tongue.

Implant-supported bridges

Rather than attaching a false tooth to other teeth using crowns or bonding, implant-supported bridges attach directly to a dental implant⁷.

A dental implant is a post that is sturdily embedded into the jawbone in the area where a tooth is missing⁸. They are designed to blend in with your other teeth. Implant-supported bridges are also the most expensive. They typically require surgery to place the implant, several weeks or even months of healing, and specialized training by the dentist and their staff to perform the treatments. Sometimes, several implants can be required to support a dental bridge that replaces more than one tooth. Implant-supported bridges are ideal for patients who have three or more missing teeth in a row⁹.

A background decorative of Blue color

How much does a dental bridge cost without insurance?

When you get a dental bridge, the cost depends on many different factors, including how many abutments there are on the bridge and how many teeth you are replacing. The cost per tooth for a bridge can cost up to $1,500 per tooth depending on many factors¹⁰. However, bridges typically involve treatment on more than one tooth. If your dental bridge involves multiple abutments or pontics, or if you are replacing several teeth, your total out of pocket cost without insurance could run up to $4,500¹¹.

Out-of-pocket costs for any preparatory procedures such as x-rays or anesthesia, may also apply.

Without dental insurance, you will be responsible for the full cost of the dental bridge. Depending on your Guardian Direct® dental plan, dental insurance can help you cover up to 50% of the costs of dental bridges, subject to waiting periods and annual maximums.

Does dental insurance cover bridges?

Even though bridges can be considered necessary dental appliances, whether or not your dental insurance will cover them depends on several factors. You need to have a plan that covers major dental procedures, like Guardian Direct Achiever and Core plans which cover up to 50% of major dental procedures after a waiting period and annual maximums. You also need to be aware of what the waiting period is when you buy the insurance policy.

Your maximum benefit will also factor into whether or not insurance will cover a dental bridge. Check the maximum benefit on your plan before you buy. In order to get a policy with a higher maximum benefit, your premium cost may be slightly higher, but it can be worth it to get a higher maximum benefit. If your maximum is low, your insurance may not cover any of the cost of a dental bridge.

Dental insurance that covers bridges & Insights

If you’re looking for dental insurance that covers bridges, we can help. Guardian Direct knows that everyone has unique dental needs and we have a large network of dentists that you can choose from. We offer dental insurance plans with a range of coverages and premiums to fit every budget and every unique dental situation. We also have a library of articles designed to give you insights and information so that you can make informed decisions about staying healthy and getting the dental care that you need. that You can learn more about how to choose dental insurance or how dental insurance may pay for implants and dentures

Links to external sites are provided for your convenience in locating related information and services. Guardian, its subsidiaries, agents and employees expressly disclaim any responsibility for and do not maintain, control, recommend, or endorse third-party sites, organizations, products, or services and make no representation as to the completeness, suitability, or quality thereof.

This is not dental care advice and should not be substituted for regular consultation with your dentist. If you have any concerns about your dental health, please contact your dentist's office.


Insights for the people.

Join our new digital insurance community that includes tips, resources and useful information from Guardian Direct.


  1., 2021, accessed April 2021

  2., accessed April 2021

  3., 2021, accessed April 2021

  4., 2021, accessed April 2021

  5., 2021, accessed April 2021

  6., 2021, accessed April 2021

  7., 2021, accessed April 2021

  8., accessed April 2021

  9., 2021, accessed April 2021

  10., accessed April 2021

  11., accessed April 2021


Insights for the people.

Join our new digital insurance community that includes tips, resources and useful information from Guardian Direct.