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A method

for pontic construction


in fixed



C. Ruhlman,


and William

A. Richter,




Oregon Dental School, Portland,


tabilizing pontics during fixed partial denture fabrication is always difficult. The wax segment is too easily displaced during waxing procedures. The inadequacy of wax or gypsum indices for maintaining the relationship of pontics to edentulous ridges and opposing occlusion is also a problem. Present methods of stabilizing pontics make it difficult to obtain ideal contours and proximal contacts. Polishing the wax to reduce finishing time is limited for the same reason. Relating pontics to the edentulous ridge and opposing occlusion after casting is another source of error. This report will describe the use of acrylic resin pins placed in wax pontics. These are set in holes drilled in the ridge portion of the working cast. This provides stability and exact repositioning of the pontics during the laboratory procedures. The technique can be used for pontics where gold will be in contact with tissue as the hygienic pontics, with pontics that will have fused porcelain for tissue contact, or with pontics with gold-to-tissue contact and acrylic resin veneers. The method will be illustrated by describing the treatment of a patient having multiple missing teeth restored by porcelain-fused-to-gold restorations. PROCEDURE

Placement of pins. The mounted cast is examined to determine the proper pontic contact with tissue. If multiple pontics are to be formed between any two retainers, it is necessary to use a paralleling drill press (Fig. 1). This assures that the waxed pontics will draw as one unit, because each pontic will have a hole and pin parallel to the others. The pontics are waxed separately and then joined together. The paralleling device is a drill press operated by a dental engine and beltdriven straight handpiece. The cast is placed on the drill press and a hole is drilled with a No. 6 round bur. This hole is centered in the area to be occupied by the gingival part of the pontic and drilled to a depth of approximately 6 mm. The holes
*Associate Professor, Department of Oral Diagnosis. **Associate Professor, Department of Crown and Bridge Prosthesis. 401



and Richter

J. Pros. Dent,

April. 1w

Fig. 1
The paralleling drill press and cast for drilling holes.

are cleaned with an airblast and 12 gauge plastic sprue pins are inserted in them. If a pin is too tight and not easily removable, the hole is enlarged slightly. The pin is then reinserted and the excess length of the pin is reduced with a hot spatula so the part extending from the cast will not interfere with the waxing of the occlusal surface (Fig. 2). The hot spatula leaves a rough end which provides retention for the wax around the pin. Waxing. The edentulous area of the cast is treated with a lubricant to prevent the wax from adhering to it. Wax is added to the pin to form the gingival contours depending on the requirements for the pontic. Full contours are waxed because the facial surface will receive porcelain and prewaxing is an aid in establishing the desired form of the facial surface of the pontic (Figs. 3 and 4). Forming the gingival part of the pontic in wax to fit the ridge contour will prevent rotation of the sprue pin. The hygienic pontic can be prevented from rotating by keying the pinhole with a groove on one side, and adding cold-curing acrylic resin to the sprue pin to occupy the space in the groove. The ridge and occlusal relationships of the individual pontics are maintained, and this makes waxing and polishing easier. Each pontic is waxed as an individual unit. Spruing and casting, After polishing, the pontics are replaced on the cast and the proximal surfaces are luted together (Figs. 5 and 6). The assembled pontics are invested and cast, and the stabilization pins are used as sprue pins. This avoids distortion. The wax forms are attached to the sprue base as shown in Fig. 7. Since the plastic pins will burn out with normal burnout procedures, they need no special attention. Repositioning castings. After casting, the pontics are separated from the sprues.



in fixed partial



Fig. 2 With the plastic pin in place, the excess is reduced so it will not interfere with occlusal waxing.

Fig. 3 The wax is built up around the plastic pin to the full contour of the desired pontic.

The sprue pins which have now been reproduced in gold are shortened slightly, since their ends were deformed when they were attached to the main 12 gauge sprue.. The gingival part of the casting is inspected for bubbles, and the casting is placed back on the cast. The casting should seat back in its original position. With all retainers cast and in place, an index is made (Fig. 8)) and the pontics are soldered to the abutment castings. The gingival part of the pontics is finished to the desired form. Facial and gingival reduction was needed in the example shown to make space for the fused porcelain. The holes in the cast may be filled with wax or plastic to restore the original shape of the edentulous area to aid in shaping the pontic to fit the ridge.



and Riclztfr

Fig. 4 The waxed pontics may be removed and relocated to facilitate contouring. Wax can be conveniently removed from the facial surface at this stage. The tissue surface will be reduced later to allow for the addition of porcelain.

Fig. 5 With the pontics relocated, the proximal proximal surfaces involved.

surfaces are luted together. Arrows indicate the

DISCUSSION This technique overcomes some of the disadvantages of other methods of waxing pontics, and reduces the errors occurring in returning the casting to its original position on casts. It allows multiple pontics to be waxed as individual units with greater stability and ease. The pontic form and contour of pontics can be more highly developed for better esthetics and function. The wax pattern is easier to polish and time used in polishing the gold casting can be saved.

Fig. 6

Fig. 7

Fig. 8

Fig. 6 The pontics are removed in one unit for easily relocated for attachment to retainers. Fig. 7 The plastic pins are attached to a 12 gauge Fig. 8 The castings are relocated in their original to the retainers for soldering. If castings index is made.

casting. After casting, the metal pontics can he

main sprue. positions. An index is used for relating the pontics have any mobility, sticky wax is used while the

SUMMARY A technique for constructing pontics is described. Plastic sprue pins are used as stabilizers during waxing and relating procedures. It is a time-saving procedure and has less chance for error than other techniques.