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.
With this dental procedure code, the pontic 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 pontic through a high-heat process which fuses it to the tooth. In doing so, the process creates an artificial tooth 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. Porcelain also has the added benefit of being able to resist staining.
With regard to the pontic's metal base, like a crown that includes predominately base metal, a pontic of this nature 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 with a porcelain pontic fused to high noble metal and a porcelain pontic fused to noble metal, which contain a higher amount of noble metals.
Use of both base metal and porcelain, is done when extensive repair is needed within the "smile zone." 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.
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