By Dr. John White
Smiles by White
When I am straightening a patient’s teeth with Invisalign and he or she is congenitally missing a permanent tooth, or, perhaps, has a front tooth that was accidentally knocked out by an errant hockey puck or soccer ball etc., I can fill the space using a pontic (artificial tooth) during treatment.
While undergoing a treatment that is designed to esthetically improve the smile, I don’t want my patient to have to walk around with a missing tooth.
What I do is add a “pontic” into the aligner tray so the missing tooth is not noticeable when the patient is wearing the clear aligners.
I can quickly fabricate these in my office in less than 30 minutes, for temporary use during the Invisalign treatment. I can easily replace any missing tooth, and it is simple to match tooth color and shape.
Instead of using a hard, plastic fixed tooth, I use putty and design an entire series to coincide with the Invisalign tray stages.
This is a good alternative for patients as it helps them feel better about their smile while we are straightening their teeth with Invisalign, or while they are waiting for something more permanent, such as an implant or bridge.