I need to get a bridge to replace two of my front teeth. I asked my dentist to do the ovate pontic technique that I keep reading about, but he said it won’t work for me because my gums are already healed. He said that they only work when teeth have first been extracted. I don’t understand that, and to be honest that is the first I’ve heard of that. I realize I am not a dentist, but I have done a lot of research on this. Am I confused about something? Why won’t it work after your teeth are extracted?
Andrea H.- Albany, NY
You are right. It is not accurate that a dental bridge can only be placed by that technique when the teeth are freshly extracted. In fact, I suspect that your dentist is uncomfortable doing the ovate pontic procedure and does not want to lose your confidence. We are taught in dental school that a dentist must display confidence at all times. This is for your benefit too. It helps to reduce your anxiety in the dental chair. So, if he isn’t skilled in a procedure, he needs to deflect you from it. He does that by telling you the procedure works in your situation. He’s the dentist and therefore “knows best”. Generally a patient will drop it from there.
I would not push him into the procedure, even though you are correct and he is not. When a dentist feels pressured to perform a procedure that he is not highly skilled in, generally disasters follow. You will end up with a dental bridge that makes you embarrassed to smile.
Another thing to be aware of, especially because it is your front teeth is the need to have a highly skilled cosmetic dentist to do the procedure. There is more than just technique with your gums to be concerned with. The color and translucency of the bridge will be very important to having a beautiful smile. It takes significant post-graduate training to make a smile look both natural and beautiful. So more than just looking for someone who can perform a certain technique, I’d also look into their cosmetic training. You’d be safest to find a dentist who is accredited with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD).
This blog is brought to you Grosse Pointe Woods Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Theodore Hadgis.