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 crown is made from a base of predominately base metal, and covered with a wafter-thin, porcelain veneer to enhance its cosmetic appeal. Porcelain veneers are molded perfectly to the surface of the crown through a high-heat process which fuses it to the surface. In doing so, the process creates a crown that has excellent compression and tensile strength, while providing a cover to the underlying metal. This veneer mimics the natural translucence of your surrounding teeth, and also has the added benefit of being able to resist staining.
With regard to the crown's metal base, it is designated as such because less than 25% of it's composition is of the noble metals gold, platinum, palladium, and silver, and its predominant makeup is of chromium and nickel. 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 pontic is to corrode or oxidize, as is the case with a porcelain fused to high noble metal crown, which contains a higher amount of noble metals.
With this procedure, because the metal strengthening core is covered with porcelain that is fused to metal (FTM), you can achieve excellent cosmetic results, in addition to the durability that stems from the underlying metals.
To look up and find more cdt dental codes from the American Dental Association, please visit our complete Dental Procedure Code Library.