Hi Dr. Hall, I have a question. I am having a bridge done next month Sep 4th. And I asked for the ovate pontic technique bridge, and he replied that in my situation he can’t do it because my gum is already healed and basically its not in shape to do the ovate pontic bridge. He said that is only done when the teeth are freshly extracted. Is that true? Can you please tell me if there are other ways of making it look like its coming out of my own gums and more natural? Thanks.
– Brenda in Florida
No, it isn’t true that this technique is only used for a dental bridge when the tooth is freshly extracted. It is primarily used when the ridge is fully healed. Your dentist is deflecting your request. Based on what you’re telling me about what he said, I don’t think he would be what I would classify as a true cosmetic dentist/artist. Don’t push him–disaster lurks.
Your approach here is a common mistake people make. They underestimate the degree of training and commitment to cosmetic dentistry that separates your family dentist from those who truly dedicate themselves to this. And they also don’t realize the difference in personality characteristics between a general dentist who says that he or she does cosmetic dentistry and a true cosmetic dentist, who is an artist. And they think they can research a technique on the Internet and then teach their dentist how to do it, or simply ask for it. It won’t work–there’s a steep learning curve for these techniques, and there has to be a passion for appearance-related issues that the dentist feels.
Your dentist has been trained to exude confidence toward you. This makes you comfortable in his chair and reduces your anxiety. He doesn’t want to tell you, “You know, I really don’t understand much about the ovate pontic technique. Could you teach me?” He’s not going to do that. So he says, based on his limited understanding of the technique, “It’s not appropriate for your situation.” Again, don’t push him.
A dentist who really knows how to do the ovate pontic technique will not do a bridge on front teeth without using that technique. You will not have to tell him or her to do it. But there are very few who know how. And then the dentist has to train the laboratory technician, because this technique is truly revolutionary as far as how you shape the pontic. When I did them, it took several cases before the laboratory technician truly understood what the requirements were.
If you want an anterior bridge that looks beautiful, natural, and creates the illusion that the false tooth is growing out of the gum, you need to find an expert cosmetic dentist. If you’re going to stay with your present dentist, let him do it the way he knows how to do it and don’t try to push him out of his comfort zone. If you want to try a second opinion on this, check with one of our Florida cosmetic dentists.
And there is a lot more than an ovate pontic that will make a bridge replacing a front tooth look natural. The biggest issues are color and translucency, and, just like the ovate pontic technique, very few dentists master these issues to the extent required to create a beautiful bridge. But an expert cosmetic dentist will know all of these things. That’s where I think you should go.
I hope this is helpful.
– Dr. Hall
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