The Ovate Pontic – Ramsey Amin DDS of Burbank Explains This Dental Implant Bridge Detail

The Ovate Pontic – Ramsey Amin DDS of Burbank Explains This Dental Implant Bridge Detail

The Ovate Pontic – Ramsey Amin DDS of Burbank Explains This Dental Implant Bridge Detail

When a tooth is lost through decay, trauma, or periodontal disease, the best way to replace it today is with a dental implant. If three to four front teeth are missing, two dental implants and a bridge may be the best option for cosmetic reasons so that the teeth look real.

Most conventional bridges use porcelain fused to metal in fabrication.  Recent advances in ceramic technology have resulted in metal-fee bridges to replace missing teeth.  No matter what materials are used, a dental bridge consists of anchor implants (abutments) on either side of the missing tooth space with a false tooth suspended between them.

The false tooth (or pontic) is suspended over the space of the missing tooth. In many cases, this type of arrangement is sufficient to provide the restoration of form, function, and esthetics that are required,  especially if this is a back tooth.

The gum tissue contacting side of the pontic is shaped to “sit on” or “lap” the soft tissue ridge, similar to a saddle thrown over the back of a horse. This type of pontic form is called a ridge lap pontic. A later alteration of this design is called a modified ridge lap. In this case the saddle is  placed on the horse, but one side is picked up to the height of the horse’s back so that it cannot  touch the horse. The advantage of this design is that food has much less of a tendency to be trapped under the pontic and the patient could more easily clean beneath the false tooth.

Here are two examples of this type of pontic which do NOT look good:

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Until a few years ago, all pontics were constructed in this fashion and most dentists still do this!

A radically different, much more cosmetic pontic design is the way I try to make all bridges. It is called the ovate (egg-shaped) pontic.

Unlike the ridge lap design where the pontic is butted up against the gum, in the ovate pontic, a depression is created in the gum ridge that mimics the shape of the natural root and crown. The false tooth is then made to appear as if it is "growing" out of the gum tissue, and not just resting on top of it. When done well, it is difficult to see which tooth is real and which tooth is a replacement.

ovate pontic burbank dental implants

Only the two upper front teeth are ovate pontics.


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So why isn’t this pontic made all the time?


This ovate pontic requires much more skill and planning. The ovate pontic shape must be prepared into the bed of gum. This simple, minimally invasive surgical procedure creates the egg-shaped depression in the tissue ridge. After this area is allowed to heal in the correct shape, guided by the form of the temporary bridge, the impressions are taken for the construction of the final bridge.

The best way to get an ovate pontic is to make it immediately after the tooth is extracted to prevent bone loss.

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Picture shows implants in place but ovate pontic sites not developed yet


ovate pontic burbank dental implants

Ovate pontic sites developed!  Note the "scalloped" natural look in the picture.


ovate pontic burbank dental implants

Bridge just placed.  The gum will continue to tighten in the next few months and look even better.


If a ridge is badly deformed by the extraction of the tooth or by ridge shrinkage, an additional surgical procedure (ridge augmentation) may be necessary to build out the ridge prior to shaping it for the ovate pontic.  The ridge can be built with a gum graft taken from your palate…A procedure I do weekly in my Burbank practice. This may add cost and time to the construction of the bridge.

The ovate pontic will give you maximum cosmetic improvement, look the most natural, and be the easiest to clean. If you have a high lip line, showing much of your teeth when you talk or smile, or demand the best esthetics available, then you need to consider the ovate pontic.

After examining you, I will evaluate your gum contour and smile line and determine what would be involved in creating the ovate pontic. This is the design I favor the most.

Please understand that if the area has been missing a tooth for a long time, or if the area has shrunk from the normal position so that the normal architecture is destroyed, it will take a little more effort to create the ovate pontic but it is worth it!

Ramsey A. Amin, D.D.S.
Diplomate of the American Board of Oral Implantology /Implant Dentistry
Burbank, California

5 Comments

  1. Ronnie

    Dr. Amin, Your site is well done. I have a question.
    I have 6 teeth in front on top and 6 on the bottom and one 3 tooth bridge and a tooth on my bottom right. Rest are all gone. I am wondering if I should get all implants or 3 implant bridges , one each for left top, left bottom and right top jaw? Or something else. what precautions I need dentist here to take? I live in Houston, if you have some recommendation here, I will appreciate it.

    May 23, 2015 at 3:27 am Reply
  2. Eugenio

    That looks way more real than the old fashioned way that most dentists do!

    August 5, 2013 at 3:08 pm Reply
    1. Ramsey Amin DDS

      Thanks Eugenio!

      Ramsey A. Amin, D.D.S.
      Diplomate of the American Board of Oral Implantology /Implant Dentistry
      Fellow-American Academy of Implant Dentistry

      November 13, 2013 at 11:24 pm Reply
  3. Abimbola

    what is your view about hygienic pontic?What is the cleansibility and gingival health consideration of Ovate pontic.

    March 6, 2011 at 7:45 am Reply
  4. Paul

    Wow. This really makes the teeth look more real!

    July 7, 2010 at 9:28 am Reply

Write a Comment

Monica D.
Monica D.
December 29, 2020.
There aren't enough words (and I have a lot of words) to tell you how grateful I am to have found Dr. Ramsey Amin and his wonderful staff. I had an enormous amount of bone loss and I was hopeless after being treated by a different doctor for two years. I had multiple procedures such as gum graft, extractions, and a sinus lift. After all of that, the doctor released me and told me he could not help me any longer. He sent me to a large teaching hospital - who also had no idea how to help me. I was terrified and embarrassed. I had been missing teeth due to those procedures since 2017. That sent me out on a journey of meeting with no less than five different dentist/oral surgeons. Most of them shamed me for the bone loss and wondered what I had done to cause this. In reality, I had done nothing. The bone loss is my body's immune system fighting me, as well as hereditary traits. In fact not only was I having difficulty being able to have implants, I also had so much bone loss that I was also not a candidate for dentures. I researched "what to do when you have bone loss and can't get implants" and I found Dr. Amin's website. Then I researched him, read his reviews, watched every one of his You Tube videos. I called and got an appointment, and kept going to consultations with other providers. I had long since stopped smiling and being social. Missing teeth and the shaming was affecting my life so adversely. When I met with Dr. Amin for my consultation he was ready. He had all of my records and had already reviewed my scans. But more than that, he genuinely wanted to get to know about my life. He was/is authentic, kind and extremely professional with so much success and experience in difficult cases like mine. He worked up a treatment plan & I came back two weeks later to discuss my options...and the journey began. I have had three procedures under IV sedation, no pain, no narcotics needed for aftercare. Dr. Amin is a consumate, experienced oral surgeon who cares about your health & understands your fears. He communicates every step of the way and will provide you with all the information you need to make a decision to improve your health. I am still working toward my end goal, and we had to zig from traditional implants and zag to zygomatic implants instead...which is the reason I chose him in the first place. If there was nothing else that could be done to get me healthy & smiling again, I knew he would have that option to help me. And of course 2020, the year of CV-19. Don't worry, Dr. Amin & his staff follow all health & safety protocols. This review is long, because it is important you know my journey, so you might understand how fortunate I feel to be healing. I'm torn, because this place is like a great restaurant, I want to shout from the rooftops how great it is, how great he is. And at the same time, I want to keep this all to myself. I come 75 miles each way to see him. I know people travel from all over the world for his expertise. Do yourself a favor, have a consultation. You won't regret it. Dr. Amin is amazing and so is his staff.
Jennifer B.
Jennifer B.
December 18, 2020.
I cannot speak highly enough of Dr. Amin and his professional staff. I have to start off and say that I am absolutely TERRIFIED of the dentist due to several past experiences. I found myself putting this off for YEARS until I was referred over to Dr. Amin. I was petrified on my first visit... but he along with his WONDERFUL staff made me feel so calm and at ease. I had quite a bit of work that needed to be done, but we found the perfect plan that worked out for me, and I couldn't be happier. Words cannot express my gratitude to each and every staff member that made me feel safe and comfortable. Dr. Amin was always so attentive in asking if I was ever in pain... and I never was. These are truly remarkable individuals, and I'm so lucky to have a dentist that I can trust. I ABSOLUTELY LOVE each and every one of you! Thank you,
D M.
D M.
December 17, 2020.
I cannot say enough positive things about Dr. Amin and his staff. I originally found them on Yelp about two years ago. I needed an implant, front tooth of all places, and was extremely nervous not only about surgery but about how it would turn out. Let me just say I just adore the staff. Everyone is crazy friendly and the whole office has a very positive vibe. The staff is adorable and always has me smiling by the time I leave. They are all thorough and on-point about what they do, and I truly appreciate it. They are quick to respond to my emails no matter the question, and their appointment reminders are great too. Dr. Amin is very thorough and reassuring, and answered any questions my husband or I had. My regular dentist had questions about the procedure and Dr. Amin's office even reached out to them at my request (my dentist said they never received a call, but Dr. Amin's staff had date, time and notes - love the thoroughness!). After surgery the Dr. called to leave me a message about how it went. Very minimal pain during healing, never any pain during any visits. It took a few tries to get everything just right for the permanent crown (color, etc), but the end result is beyond fantastic! At one point during healing I thought I was experiencing some looseness or wiggling but unfortunately couldn't make it to the office. When I was finally able to make it in the Dr. was so relieved, bless his heart. Luckily it was just a false alarm and everything checked out ok. They're a bit further out from me, but I wanted the best. I sure found it! I wish they were my regular dentist, and I'm looking forward to seeing them again for my check-up which was delayed due to COVID.
Melissa E.
Melissa E.
December 9, 2020.
I found Dr. Amin a few years back after I hadn't been to a dentist in a decade. Many traumatic dental experiences in childhood have made me so phobic that even getting a cleaning was a knee-knocking, heart-pounding trial. But finally I couldn't put off some things any longer. During my first anesthesia session, Dr. Amin replaced five old metal fillings, and during the second he did three more plus a crown. I was completely comfortable, and never felt a thing. Because they were extra-long sessions, I did sleep for about 12 hours after, but the next day I felt just fine. This past week, my back top tooth cracked in half and fell out of my mouth, and a couple days later the crown on the remainder of the tooth fell out too! Despite being nervous about Covid 19, I had to get it taken care of, so I called and quizzed the staff about precautions, which turned out to be even above and beyond what I would have expected. So yesterday I went for the tooth extraction and plug. After they put on the blood pressure cuff and put in the IV, I gradually got a little tired and closed my eyes. I sat there for about 10 minutes and thought Gee, I wonder if they're going to get started any time soon, and a minute later Dr. Amin said "Wake up, you're all done!" That was a short session, and I didn't have the kind of fatigue I did my first time. I stayed up most of the evening. Today, everything is good! I'm taking my antibiotic and eating soft foods, and there is surprisingly little pain now that the numbness has worn off. The tooth site and my cheek are a little sore, and the corner of my mouth, and I have a very slight headache, but nothing to any great level--I'm not even taking the acetaminophen. I feel good, and wide awake. Thanks to everyone at the office for a comfortable and professional job! I really REALLY appreciate you for giving me painless dental experiences!
Tanya S.
Tanya S.
December 3, 2020.
What can I say about Dr. Amin he is the best! I'm so grateful for him. He has literally changed my life and given me the confidence to smile more. I had major restorative dental work done and everything went smoothly. Dr. Amin is very compassionate and he really cares about his patients he made me feel comfortable and cared for. He is very knowledgeable and has a great sense of humor. His office is very clean and they take the patients health and safety very serious. His staff is also amazing they made me feel very welcomed and important. I'm so happy I did my research and found Dr. Amin.  Thank you Dr. Amin and team.
Sheila S.
Sheila S.
November 6, 2020.
Two implants done! Finished all procedures and I couldn't be happier. It's the first time in years I looked forward to going to the dentist. Even during Covid life the staff and Dr. Amin took care of me. There is a possibility I may move to Long Beach but I would still travel to keep Dr. Amin as my dentist.
Allison S.
Allison S.
November 4, 2020.
I could not ask for a more caring, exceptionally knowledgeable dental care provider. He's not just a dentist, but someone who looks after your immediate dental needs and helps you plan and prepare for the future.
Julia R.
Julia R.
October 8, 2020.
I've been going to Dr. Amin since I turned 16 and have been going since. Before going to Dr. Amin's dental office, I had 4 crowns that I was not happy with and dealt with it until finally I asked Dr. Amin and because I  feel comfortable and because I trust him with his work I recently had my crowns fixed and worked on by  Dr. Amin and have never loved my smile the way I do now, I can actually enjoy my pictures, I can enjoy my smile from either angle and that really mattered to me. Thank you so much Dr. Amin still and will be in love with MY smile
Aaron D.
Aaron D.
October 6, 2020.
I've been coming to Dr. Ramsey for about five years and I have to say, he is by far the best dentist I've had - ever. The staff is professional and kind, the office is exceptionally well maintained, and Dr. Ramsey is careful and extremely knowledgeable about current developments and research in dentistry. I recently had a dental implant which was a long process but well worth it. I required a sinus lift as well as a bone graft. The surgery went off without a hitch, I was comfortable and the healing process was quick and without complication. Highly recommend!!
Flo O.
Flo O.
September 21, 2020.
This is my 1st review of Dr. Amin, and in my over 17 years of being with him, my experiences with Dr. Amin and his staff have always been positive.  I don't recall a bad experience with the several implant procedures i have had.  They run an efficient office.  I like that they are proactive and reach out to their patients to remind us of routine care needed.  Dr. Amin's bedside care is impeccable.  They are also technologically up to date in terms of sending out texts as reminders, ability to incorporate any appointment into your mobile phone.  That is certainly a plus.  Keep up the great care!!!