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 noble metal, and then 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.
A pontic that includes noble metal, is designated as such because 25%-60% 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 it 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 porcelain that is fused-to-metal (FTM), you can achieve excellent cosmetic results, in addition to the durability that stems from the underlying metals.
An alternative to this type of pontic would be one with porcelain fused to *high* noble metal. Such a pontic would draw at least 60% of its composition from the noble metals gold, platinum, palladium, and silver. Of that 60%, at least 40% would need to be gold in order to earn this distinction from the American Dental Association.
To look up and find more cdt dental codes from the American Dental Association, please visit our complete Dental Procedure Code Library.