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How a Dentist Color-Matches a Dental Crown

September 7, 2022

Filed under: Uncategorized — rosenfeld @ 9:12 am
A dentist using a shade guide to color-match a dental crown

When you need a dental crown, you might focus more on its restorative benefits. After all, the treatment is supposed to fix, cover, and rebuild a damaged tooth. However, keep in mind that the prosthetic will look good too. Dentists work to ensure that it’ll match the color of your enamel. If they didn’t, your newly-restored smile might seem off. To learn more, here’s a summary of the matter from your East Islip dental practice.

How Does the Dentist Choose the Shade?

Dentists have several time-tested methods and techniques for choosing the final shade of a crown. They include the shade guide, natural light assessments, and color contrast.

The Shade Guide

Generally, a dentist’s most common tool for color-matching is the shade guide. This item is a metal or plastic card with fake porcelain teeth arranged in different colors. Your dentist will hold the guide by your teeth and compare the natural shade to the examples until they find a similar one.

Natural Light Assessment

Dentists usually make color decisions under natural light conditions. Incandescent lights disrupt the process, as they’re too yellow and cause colors to appear different and changed.

A dentist may also ask their patient to remove any bright lipstick or makeup they’re wearing. Wearing such things can distort the perception of the tooth shade.

Color Contrast

A dentist might reduce color contrast when deciding on a crown’s ideal shade.

For this approach, a patient may be given a gray bib to wear. In doing so, they’ll reduce the color contrast that may come from bright clothing. Plus, the gray bib provides the dentist with a neutral place to rest their eyes between looks at your teeth and the shade guide.

How Does the Dental Crown Get Colored?

After applying methods like those above, the dentist will make their final decision on crown color. From there, they’ll send this information (including drawings and photos of your teeth) to a dental laboratory, where an expert ceramist creates the crown with the right shade.

It should be noted that an absolutely perfect match between two teeth is nearly impossible. However, great matches with almost imperceptible differences are standard.

As you can see, dentists take the crown-matching process very seriously. That said, talk to one if you have any questions or concerns about your treatment’s final result.

About the Author

Dr. Gary Rosenfeld is a dentist based in East Islip, NY, having earned his dental doctorate from the Columbia University Dental School. He’s also a member of the American Dental Association. For over thirty-five years, he’s brought comprehensive dental services to his community. Even now, he regularly performs preventive, cosmetic, and restorative dentistry, including emergency procedures. Dr. Rosenfeld currently practices at East Islip Dental Care and is reachable on his website or by phone at (631)-581-8600.

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