A “bridge” is a form of dental prosthetic that allows for the placement of an artificial tooth in an area where a healthy tooth used to exist.
When an entire tooth is lost, a bridge acts as a unifying device that supports the artificial tooth (called a pontic), and eliminates the gap between adjacent teeth. To accomplish this, however, the pontic needs to be joined to these adjacent teeth in order to stay in place. Among the many ways this can be accomplished is through the use of crowns.
When used as support for a bridge, a prosthetic crown acts as a connecting anchor for the artificial tooth. It can be used in conjunction with an inlay or an onlay, or can be used in combination with another crown on the tooth that straddles the pontic.
With this dental procedure code, the prosthetic crown is completely constructed of high noble metal, and covers the entire area of the adjacent tooth. A crown that includes high noble metal, is designated as such because at least 60% of its composition is of the noble metals gold, platinum, palladium, and silver. Of that 60%, at least 40% of that needs to be gold in order to earn this distinction from the American Dental Association. Noble metals are known to interact with human tissue well, and hold up to corrosion and oxidation better than other metals. The higher the percentage of noble metals, the less likely a crown is to corrode or oxidize.
Use of a full, high noble metal crown, is done when the strength and longevity of the crown are critical, and when repair is needed outside the "smile zone," as with back molars.
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