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WILFRED D. WHITESIDE, Corpus Christi, Texas

HE LOWER ANTERIOR FIXED partial denture probably presents more problems to the dentist than any other fixed prosthesis. Sanitation is a major problem. The lingual surfaces of the lower anterior teeth are difficult to reach with a toothbrush, and because of the sublingual salivary ducts, the restoration is constantly plagued by calculus. The direction from which occlusal forces are applied to the lower anterior fixed partial denture is important too. The normal occlusal relationships demand that the portion of a lower anterior pontic, which is subjected to the forces of occlusal contact, must be esthetically pleasing. An appropriate solution to these problems seems to lie in the porcelain fused to metal p0ntic.l However, the demands that this technique places upon the laboratory technician and the difficulty involved in repairing a fractured pontic are definite disadvantages.

Fig. 1. Fig. l.-The labial view of lower anterior pontics utilizing Steeles interchangeable facings. Note the wide gingival embrasures and the single point of contact of the gold backing with the mucosa. Fig. 2 .-A single pontic as seen from the mesial surface. The form of the gold backing provides support for the porcelain.

The acrylic resins, despite their continued improvement, are not entirely satisfactory. They are too soft, porous, and dimensionally unstable to meet the requirements of an ideal pontic material. Pontics which solve the problems and fulfill the basic requirements of pontics for the lower anterior region are made by utilizing Steeles interchangeable facings (Figs. 1 and 2).
Received for publication March 22, 1958. 119



J. Pros. Den. Jan..Feb., 1959

A pontic of this design has the following advantages : ( 1) The gingival portion is shaped like the tapering end of an egg. This form is considered ideal for lower posterior pontics,*v3 and it has the same advantages when it is used in lower anterior regions. (2) The porcelain is supported by metal placed at right angles to the occl&al forces which are exerted upon it. (3) The facing is replaceable. (4) The pontic is economically and easily fabricated.

A more hygienic suggested.


type of lower




Steeles facings is

1. Coelho,l~~,H.: Criteria for the Use of Fixed Prosthesis, D. Clin. N. America, pp. 299-311,
p. 105. 3. Tylman, S. D.: Theory and Practice of Crown and Bridge Prosthesis, St. Louis, 1947, The C. V. Mosby Company, pp. 677 and 687.

2. Schweitzer, J. M. : Restorative Dentistry, ed. 1, St. Louis, 1947, The C. V. Mosby Company,