In dentistry, a "pontic" is an artificial tooth fixed to a dental bridge. Because it relies on an abutment for its stability, the pontic is constructed as a single prosthetic and appears as though it is a natural tooth protruding from the gums.
In this procedure, the pontic is made from a base of high noble metal, and then covered, at least partially, with a tooth-colored synthetic resin to enhance its cosmetic appeal. Synthetic resins are liquid materials that can be converted into a permanent hardened material, and in dentistry are most commonly acrylic polymer or polymethyl methacrylate. A pontic 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 percentage 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 pontic is to corrode or oxidize.
Use of the two materials together, is done when extensive repair is needed within the "smile zone.” With this procedure, because the metal strengthening core is covered with a tooth-colored resin, you can achieve excellent cosmetic results, in addition to the durability that stems from the underlying metals.
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