Your Guide to Top-Quality, Affordable DentistryA dental bridge is used to replace a missing tooth. To form and place a bridge, the two teeth on the sides of the gap left by the loss of a tooth are usually capped or crowned for strength and stability. Then a false tooth is placed or "bridged" between the two crowns. If natural teeth are not in place to support the bridge, implants may be required. Other options for replacing missing teeth include partial dentures and dental implants.
Why It Works for Medical Tourism | Planning Ahead | Accreditation and Certification | Dental Tourism Do's and Don'ts
If you need only one bridge, you won’t save money traveling, but you may choose to do so anyway. Some global patients have established satisfactory relationships with out-of-country dentists and wouldn’t dream of having their dental work done elsewhere. Others take a "might-as-well-as" approach to dental care: if they plan to visit a country for business or pleasure, "why not" save a little money on dental care at the same time?
If, however, you need a bridge as well as additional dental work, you may gain substantial savings by having your work done abroad. Savings in Mexico and Thailand can be as much as 60 percent. In Costa Rica and Malaysia, the average savings is 65 percent.
Getting a bridge is a process. During the first visit, the adjacent, supporting teeth are prepared and temporary crowns are put in place. Next, impressions are made; they serve as a model for the dental laboratory technicians who will make the permanent crowns and false tooth. The dentist makes and inserts a temporary bridge to be worn while the laboratory work is done. During the second visit, the temporary bridge is removed and the permanent bridge is inserted.
Be sure to ask your dentist how long it will take to create the permanent crown and false tooth. Some dentists have labs onsite and promise very quick results. If your dentist uses an offsite lab, it can take several days or weeks before the bridge is ready to be positioned.
If you’re planning to travel for a bridge, make sure your schedule can accommodate two or more trips to the dentist. It can take time to adjust the fit before the bridge is cemented permanently in place. Also, verify that your dentist’s schedule matches your travel plans, and allow plenty of recovery time, especially if you are having several dental procedures done at once.
Non-US dentists practicing abroad can apply for affiliate membership in the American Dental Association (ADA). Such membership is available to dentists who are practicing in a country other than the United States and who do not have an active US dental license.
The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD) runs an accreditation program that serves professionals practicing in the US and abroad. Applicants for accreditation complete a rigorous credentialing process that includes a written examination, oral examination, and peer review of clinical cases.
Last updated on 16 March 2014