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Photo Essay: Contouring Technique for an Existing Ovate Pontic Receptor Site (2 CE Credits)

Launch Course

Course Objectives (2 CE Credits)

Michael C. DiTolla, DDS, FAGD

When chairside conditions dictate that traditional, non-implant-retained prosthetics be used to close an edentulous space, the dentist’s methods of tooth preparation and treatment of the gingiva are instrumental in achieving lifelike esthetic results.

In this presentation, Dr. Michael DiTolla utilizes a Maryland bridge replacement case to discuss his preferred techniques for preparing and impressing supportive dentition, as well as treating and contouring the edentulous gingiva with an eye toward the final restoration. Participants who view this presentation will gain valuable insight into effective restorative techniques, including:

  • Computerized anesthesia for painless injections
  • Bur types and functions
  • Two-Cord Impression Technique
  • Reverse Preparation Technique
  • Smoothing prep transitions
  • Gauging reduction adequacy with prep stents
  • Provisionalizing with BioTemps® Provisionals (Glidewell Laboratories)
  • Recontouring gingiva
  • Achieving hemostasis
  • Taking digital impressions with IOS FastScan® (IOS Technologies; San Diego, Calif.)
  • Caring for interproximal papillae
  • Cementing BruxZir® Solid Zirconia restorations (Glidewell Laboratories)


Despite the burgeoning array of restorative dental technologies now available, a clinician’s treatment options are often constrained by the patient’s financial means, desires or comfort level. Armed with the proper techniques for each restorative method, however, functional esthetics of the final outcome need not be sacrificed.

In this presentation, Dr. Michael DiTolla highlights a contouring technique for an existing ovate pontic receptor site in a Maryland bridge replacement case, illustrating the satisfying results achieved when time and care is taken to employ effective preparation, impression and gingival-contouring methods in the pursuit of lifelike esthetics.

CAUTION: When viewing the techniques, procedures, theories and materials that are presented, you must make your own decisions about specific treatment for patients and exercise personal professional judgment regarding the need for further clinical testing or education and your own clinical expertise before trying to implement new procedures.


  1. de Vasconcellos DK, Volpato CÂ, Zani IM, Bottino MA. Impression technique for ovate pontics. J Prosthet Dent. 2011 Jan;105(1):59-61.
  2. Gahan MJ, Nixon PJ, Robinson S, Chan MF. The ovate pontic for fixed bridgework. Dent Update. 2012 Jul-Aug;39(6):407-8, 412, 415.
  3. Alex G. A visual essay. Use of an ovate pontic to achieve optimal aesthetics and integration in the anterior region. Pract Proced Aesthet Dent. 2008 Nov-Dec;20(10):589-91.
  4. Orsini G, Murmura G, Artese L, Piattelli A, Piccirilli M, Caputi S. Tissue healing under provisional restorations with ovate pontics: a pilot human histological study. J Prosthet Dent. 2006 Oct;96(4):252-7.
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