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 dental procedure code, D6251, the the pontic is made predominately of base 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 comprised of mainly base metal, is designated as such because less than 25% of its composition is of the noble metals gold, platinum, palladium, and silver. 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 procedures: Pontic: Resin With High Nobel Metal and Pontic: Resin With Noble Metal, which contain a higher amount of noble metals.
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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