What Is A Pontic In Dentistry
The pontics are artificial teeth placed into a bridge to replace either an entire row of natural teeth, or one or more individual teeth. The term “pontic” was first used by Dr. William Coit Conant, who invented and constructed bridges using this technique. He believed they would be superior to other types of dental bridges at the time because he thought the roots of natural teeth were too short for proper support.
In 1892, Dr. Frederick William Gull defined the term as “the part of the bridge which rests on the mucous membrane.” This definition has been modified over time. Today, most dentists use “pontic” to refer to the artificial teeth inserted into a prosthesis such as a fixed or removable partial denture. Some dentists also use it to describe the artificial teeth used in complete bridgework. When referring to complete bridgework, however, it is important to remember that the terms “bridge,” “fixed partial denture,” and “complete bridging” do not all mean the same thing.
Fixed Partial Dental Bridges
A fixed partial dental bridge is a prosthetic device designed to restore one or more teeth when only a single tooth or teeth have been lost. Fixed partial dental bridges differ from removable partial dental bridges in several ways. Most importantly, fixed bridges involve permanent implants whereas removable bridges involve temporary attachments. Because of their permanency, fixed bridges require much greater care than removable bridges.
Removable Partial Bridgeworks
Removable partial bridges attach to neighboring teeth and may consist of a crown attached to a metal framework. These bridges must be removed before eating or drinking. They can usually be worn comfortably during the day but should never be worn overnight due to increased risk of fracture and wear. Removable partial bridges are often called night guards or night splints.
Fixed Partial Dental Bridges
Unlike removable bridgeworks, permanent fixed bridges require little maintenance. However, they still need periodic cleaning with soft bristled brushes and flossing. Like removable bridgeworks, these bridges typically consist of a crown attached to a metal framework. Unlike removable bridges, permanent fixed bridges cannot be taken out while eating or drinking. If you take them out, your food will fall between the teeth where bacteria can attack the gums. Therefore, fixed bridges are recommended for patients who want to eat or drink without removing the prosthesis. Permanent fixed bridges are also recommended for people whose remaining teeth are badly damaged or severely spaced apart.
Complete bridgework refers to any type of dental work done on both upper and lower arches including fixed partial bridgework, fixed full bridgework, implant supported fixed bridgework, and implant retained fixed bridgework. Complete bridgework includes two basic concepts-anterior guidance and posterior stability. Anterior Guidance involves anchoring the new teeth to neighboring teeth with anterior connectors. Posterior Stability involves anchoring the new teeth to surrounding bone tissue with posterior anchors.
Posterior anchors are made of titanium screws or pins. Titanium screws are threaded through the bone and then anchored into the head of each tooth being replaced. Screws anchor teeth by screwing into holes drilled into the head of the teeth. Anchors are placed approximately 1 mm below the gum line. Pins, on the other hand, simply rest against the bone surface without penetrating it. Both types of anchors provide adequate support when properly positioned.
How To Choose Your Bridge?
When choosing a bridge, there are many factors to consider. First, determine if you need a fixed or removable bridge. Next, decide how long the bridge needs to last and what its function is. Then choose the best fitting style. Finally, select the color and material of the bridge based on your budget. There are dozens of different styles available so take some time to research your options.
If you need a fixed bridge, try to avoid having metal brackets welded onto existing teeth. Metal brackets make supporting the bridge difficult. Also, if possible, avoid having metal frameworks that look like braces unless you are comfortable with metalwork. Other materials include acrylic resin, porcelain fused to metal, and composite resins. Each of these materials offers unique advantages and disadvantages. For example, acrylic resin is strong and durable and provides good aesthetic appeal but requires special tools for shaping. Composite resins are less expensive and easy to shape but tend to break down quickly under stress. Porcelain fused to metal offers strength and durability but lacks aesthetic appeal.
Color selection is very personal choice. You are free to choose whatever colors you prefer, but keep in mind that dark shades hide stains better than light ones. Black is always appropriate since it hides stains well and makes teeth appear whiter. White looks cleanest next to healthy colored gums, and pinks and reds look attractive against white teeth. Be careful not to choose bright colors that contrast strongly with natural teeth. Yellow is considered a bad choice because it tends to stain easily. Avoid greens, blues, purples, browns, oranges, and yellows. Reds, golds, and silver are acceptable choices. Gold and silver tend to blend in naturally with teeth. Try to stay away from pastels and brightly lit colors. Pastel colors tend to fade quickly and can cause staining. Lighter colors are easier to match up with your wardrobe.
Materials vary greatly in price. Acrylic resins cost about $50 per unit and can range anywhere from $10 – $200 per unit depending on size. All-porcelain bridges run around $300 per unit. Resin hybrids, which combine metal and acrylic components, are priced between $100-$150 per unit. Composite resin bridges start at $250 per unit, and stainless steel bridges, which are becoming increasingly popular, can cost upwards of $2,500 per unit.
Tooth Colored Fillings
Before placing fillings in your mouth, your dentist will discuss whether or not you’d benefit from filling procedures. After discussing your overall health, your dentist may recommend getting fillings that change the appearance of your teeth.
Your dentist will explain the benefits and risks associated with getting cosmetic fillings before deciding whether or not to proceed with the procedure. Depending on your decision, your doctor may suggest a specific brand of filler material.
Cosmetic dentistry is a fast growing segment of the dental industry. Cosmetic dentistry means improving the smile without making extensive structural changes. Many times, the result of a cosmetic treatment is a beautiful smile, and the process itself doesn’t even hurt!
There are various cosmetic treatments available today. One of the most common treatments offered is cosmetic bonding. It’s sometimes referred to as cosmetic dentistry. While the term cosmetic dentistry implies that certain treatments alter the structure of the teeth themselves, cosmetic bonding actually just alters the outer appearance of the teeth. The goal is to improve the aesthetics of the teeth rather than changing their physical makeup.
Cosmetic Bonding vs. Teeth Whitening
Teeth whitening products are extremely effective at increasing the brightness of stained teeth. But unlike bleaching methods, which bleach the enamel of teeth, cosmetic bonding relies on pigments to cover up discoloration caused by things like smoking, aging, or overexposure to sunlight.
With cosmetic bonding, small amounts of a pigment called ‘composite’ are applied directly to the stained areas of your teeth. Unlike traditional composites used in construction projects, cosmetic composites contain no glass beads. Instead, they’re filled with tiny particles of highly reflective silica gel that help reflect the sun’s rays back toward the eyes instead of absorbing them and heating your teeth.
Once the composite is brushed onto the stained teeth, a special curing light activates the pigment so it bonds to the teeth permanently. Once the light shines on the composite, it hardens within minutes. Within 24 hours of application, the composite has hardened enough to withstand chewing pressure and begin protecting the teeth immediately.
Is Cosmetic Bonding Safe?
Cosmetic bonding is generally safe for most adults. It’s important to note, however, that anyone who has allergies to latex or rubber shouldn’t get cosmetic bonding. Any patient undergoing cosmetic bonding should consult his or her dentist prior to receiving the treatment.
While cosmetic bonding is widely accepted in general practice, there are some potential complications. Patients might experience sensitivity after the procedure, especially in the days following treatment. Sometimes patients feel pain or discomfort upon biting down on cold foods and liquids. This condition is known as postoperative hypersensitivity. Often, patients develop dry sockets after cosmetic bonding, a condition in which exposed nerve endings become irritated or inflamed. Dry socket occurs when blood flow to the area beneath the skin covering the gums isn’t maintained. As a result, oxygen levels decrease, causing inflammation and infection.
It’s also important to note that cosmetic bonding takes longer to heal than noncosmetic procedures. Treatment times are generally three weeks minimum, with average healing taking four to six months. During this period, patients should refrain from wearing jewelry, applying lipstick, rinsing with acidic beverages, and participating in strenuous activities.
For those concerned about the safety of cosmetic bonding, there are alternatives to waiting for the results. Read on to learn about laser veneers.
Many insurance companies offer discounts for preventive services, such as routine checkups and cleanings.
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