Pontic design and its effects on the health of the gingiva


  • Meisan Ali Bukhari North Jeddah Specialized Dental Center, King Abdullah Medical Complex, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
  • Ali Mohammed Aldossari General Dentist, Eastern Riyadh Dental Center, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
  • Ibrahim Mohammed Alyami General Dentist, Eastern Riyadh Dental Center, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
  • Abdullah Hassan Al Shari General Dentist, Eastern Riyadh Dental Center, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
  • Abdulmunem Abdulaziz Al Huwaidi General Dentist, Eastern Riyadh Dental Center, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
  • Salman Youssef Alzaid General Dentist, Eastern Riyadh Dental Center, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
  • Ali Mohammad Alqahtani General Dentist, Eastern Riyadh Dental Center, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
  • Mohammed Ibrahim Musayri General Dentist, Eastern Riyadh Dental Center, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
  • Yahya Mohammed AlShahrani General Dentist, Eradah Mental Health Complex, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia




Pontic design, Fixed partial denture, Gingival health, Gingivitis


A pontic is an artificial tooth that substitutes a lost natural tooth, preserves its function, and typically fills the space left by the actual crown. Sanitary/hygienic and modified sanitary/hygienic designs do not contact the alveolar mucosa. On the other hand, ridge lap, modified ridge lap, ovate, modified ovate, and conical are designs that maintain contact with the mucosa. The ideal biological properties to be taken into consideration while designing pontics are periodontal health, access for oral hygiene, no food trapping and occlusal harmony. Accumulation of dental plaque has been implicated in the onset of gingival and periodontal disease as well as caries in the vicinity of the fixed restoration. The connection of the pontic to the supporting crowns must be constructed in such a way as to make a flushable area in the direction of the gingiva, in order to ensure that this area can be cleaned by toothbrushing and flossing but not the large triangular spaces that make it easy for food particles to cling. Modified ridge lap and ovate types, out of all the pontic shapes described below, exhibit convex cleansable faces. Ovate pontics are most effective for use in anterior regions, while the modified ridge lap design can be utilized predominantly in fixed partial denture designs posteriorly. The important etiological factor for gingivitis, periodontitis and peri-implantitis is bacterial colonization which is impacted by the individual's immunologic response and genetic predisposition in addition to dental care practices and pontic design. It is believed that no matter what the material of the pontic is, it must provide a highly polished intaglio surface to help floss slide through and make contact with the full base of the pontic in order to minimize plaque accumulation.


Kazmi SMR, Iqbal Z, Muneer MU, Riaz S, Zafar MS. Different pontic design for porcelain fused to metal fixed dental prosthesis: Contemporary guidelines and practice by general dental practitioners. Euro J Dent. 2018;12(03):375-9.

Udhayaraja P, Ariga P, Jain AR. Awareness on pontic design among general dental practitioners: A knowledge, attitude, and practice survey. Drug Invention Today. 2018;10(6):860-3.

Gahan MJ, Nixon PJ, Robinson S, WY Chan MF. The ovate pontic for fixed bridgework. Dent Update. 2012;39(6):407-15.

Löe H. Oral hygiene in the prevention of caries and periodontal disease. Int Dental J. 2000;50(3):129-39.

Löe H, von der Fehr FR, Schiött CR. Inhibition of experimental caries by plaque prevention: the effect of chlorhexidine mouthrinses. Euro J Oral Sci. 1972;80(1):1-9.

Valderhaug J, Ellingsen J, Jokstad A. Oral hygiene, periodontal conditions and carious lesions in patients treated with dental bridges: a 15‐year clinical and radiographic follow‐up study. J Clin Periodontol. 1993;20(7):482-9.

Valderhaug J. Periodontal conditions and carious lesions following the insertion of fixed prostheses: a 10-year follow-up study. Int Dent J. 1980;30(4):296-304.

Al-Wahadni A, Linden G, Hussey D. Periodontal response to cantilevered and fixed-fixed resin bonded bridges. Euro J Prosthod Rest Dent. 1999;7(2):57-60.

Becker CM, Kaldahl WB. Current theories of crown contour, margin placement, and pontic design. J Prosthetic Dent. 1981;45(3):268-77.

Stein RS. Pontic-residual ridge relationship: A research report. J Prosthet Dent. 1966;16(2):251-85.

Ramfjord SP. Periodontal aspects of restorative dentistry. J Oral Rehab. 1974;1(2):107-26.

Edelhoff D, Spiekermann H, Yildirim M. A review of esthetic pontic design options. Quintessence Int. 2002;33(10):734-46.

Cosyn J, Raes M, Packet M, Cleymaet R, De Bruyn H. Disparity in embrasure fill and papilla height between tooth‐and implant‐borne fixed restorations in the anterior maxilla: a cross‐sectional study. J Clin Periodontol. 2013;40(7):728-33.

Zigurs G, Vidzis A, Brinkmane A. Halitosis manifestation and prevention means for patients with fixed teeth dentures. Stomatologija. 2005;7(1):3-6.

Del Castillo R, Ercoli C, Delgado JC, Alcaraz J. An alternative multiple pontic design for a fixed implant-supported prosthesis. J Prosthet Dent. 2011;106(3):198-203.

Ikai H, Kanno T, Kimura K, Sasaki K. A retrospective study of fixed dental prostheses without regular maintenance. J Prosth Res. 2010;54(4):173-8.

Wood M, Thompson VP, Romberg E, Morrison G. Resin-bonded fixed partial dentures. II. Clinical findings related to prosthodontic characteristics after approximately 10 years. J Prosthet Dent. 1996;76(4):368-73.

Rosenstiel SF, Land MF, Walter R. Contemporary fixed prosthodontics. Elsevier Health Sci; 2022.

Zitzmann NU MC, Berglundh T. The ovate pontic design: a histologic observation in humans. J Prosthet Dent. 2002;88:375-80.

Nagarsekar A, Gaunkar R, Aras M. Knowledge, attitude, and practice of dental professionals regarding the effect and management of food impaction associated with fixed partial denture prostheses: A survey. J Indian Prostho Society. 2016;16(4):372.

Buștiuc S-G, Caraiane A, Sin E-C, Murineanu R-M, Raftu G. Particularities of the Dentist-Dental Technician Communication in the Design and Manufacture of Fixed Partial Prostheses. Rom J Oral Rehabil. 2020;12(1):47-50.

Zitzmann NU, Marinello CP, Berglundh T. The ovate pontic design: a histologic observation in humans. J Prosthet Dent. 2002;88(4):375-80.

Enkling N, Jöhren P, Klimberg T, et al. Open or submerged healing of implants with platform switching: a randomized, controlled clinical trial. J Clin Periodontol. 2011;38(4):374-84.

Salvi GE, Zitzmann NU. The effects of anti-infective preventive measures on the occurrence of biologic implant complications and implant loss: a systematic review. Int J Oral Maxillofac Implants. 2014;29(Suppl):292-307.

Eissmann HF, Radke RA, Noble WH. Physiologic design criteria for fixed dental restorations. Dent Clin North Am. 1971;15(3):543-68.

Abrams L. Augmentation of the deformed residual edentulous ridge for fixed prosthesis. Compend Contin Educ Dent. 1980;1:205-13.

Garbr D. The edentulous ridge in fixed prosthodontics. Compendium Continuing Edu General Dent. 1981;2:212-24.

Zavanelli AC, Mazaro JVQ, NÓbrega PI, FalcÓn-antenucc RM, Zavanelli RA. Data collection about failures in fixed partial dentures: 1-year monitoring. RGO-Revista Gaúcha de Odontologia. 2018;66:250-6.

Zetu L, Wang HL. Management of inter‐dental/inter‐implant papilla. J Clin Periodontol. 2005;32(7):831-9.

Liu CLS. Use of a modified ovate pontic in areas of ridge defects: a report of two cases. J Esthetic Restor Dent. 2004;16(5):273-281.

Tulbah H, AlHamdan E, AlQahtani A, AlShahrani A, AlShaye M. Quality of communication between dentists and dental laboratory technicians for fixed prosthodontics in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Saudi Dent J. 2017;29(3):111-6.

Mary DAF. Review on pontics. European Journal of Molecular & Clinical Medicine. 2020;7(1):3016-24.

Podshadley AG. Gingival response to pontics. J Prosthet Dent. 1968;19(1):51-7.

Algraffee H, Borumandi F, Cascarini L. Peri-implantitis. Br J Oral Maxillofacial Surg. 2012;50(8):689-94.

Renvert S, Persson GR. Periodontitis as a potential risk factor for peri‐implantitis. J Clin Periodontol. 2009;36:9-14.

Lang NP. Consensus statements and recommended clinical procedures regarding implant survival and complications. Int J Oral Maxillofac Implants. 2004;19:150-154.

Charalampakis G, Leonhardt Å, Rabe P, Dahlén G. Clinical and microbiological characteristics of peri‐implantitis cases: a retrospective multicentre study. Clin Oral Implants Res. 2012;23(9):1045-54.

Cekici A, Kantarci A, Hasturk H, Van Dyke TE. Inflammatory and immune pathways in the pathogenesis of periodontal disease. Periodontology 2000. 2014;64(1):57-80.

Nguyen‐Hieu T, Borghetti A, Aboudharam G. Peri‐implantitis: from diagnosis to therapeutics. J Investigate Clin Dent. 2012;3(2):79-94.

Pesce P, Canullo L, Grusovin MG, De Bruyn H, Cosyn J, Pera P. Systematic review of some prosthetic risk factors for periimplantitis. J Prosthet Dent. 2015;114(3):346-50.

Avrampou M, Kamposiora P, Papavasiliou G, Pissiotis A, Katsoulis J, Doukoudakis A. Design of removable partial dentures: a survey of dental laboratories in Greece. Int J Prosthod. 2012;25(1).

Rodriguez AM, Rosenstiel SF. Esthetic considerations related to bone and soft tissue maintenance and development around dental implants: report of the Committee on Research in Fixed Prosthodontics of the American Academy of Fixed Prosthodontics. J Prosthet Dent. 2012;108(4):259-67.

Silness J, Gustavsen F, Mangersnes K. The relationship between pontic hygiene and mucosai inflammation in fixed bridge recipients. J Periodont Res. 1982;17(4):434-9.

Behrend DA. The mandibular posterior fixed partial denture. J Prosthet Dent. 1977;37(6):622-38.




How to Cite

Bukhari, M. A., Aldossari, A. M., Alyami, I. M., Al Shari, A. H., Al Huwaidi, A. A., Alzaid, S. Y., Alqahtani, A. M., Musayri, M. I., & AlShahrani, Y. M. (2022). Pontic design and its effects on the health of the gingiva. International Journal Of Community Medicine And Public Health, 9(12), 4725–4730. https://doi.org/10.18203/2394-6040.ijcmph20223238



Review Articles