May 11th, 2016
On occasion, we get an adult with one or more front bridges because of missing incisors. When it comes time for them to be replaced with implants or new bridges, dentists often ask orthodontists to create additional space to improve the cosmetics. When this occurs, we need to have the dentist cut or separate the bridge near the middle to allow us to create the correct spacing. I will often have the dentist cut the pontic out ( a pontic is the fake tooth suspended in the middle of the bridge) when it comes time for implant placement. We then attach the pontic(s) to the archwire as shown in the photo so that for the approximate 4m time that is needed for the implant to integrate into the bone, the patient doesn't present with missing teeth. The other photo shows where the teeth were cut away. The alternative is to take the braces off and place what is called a flipper- a retainer with fake teeth attached. Since flippers often interfere with speech and can be lost or broken, patients often choose to have the fake teeth added to their braces until the permanent crown(s) can be attached to their implants.