As you might know, a dental crown can improve your smile’s look. After all, it restores the treated tooth after the latter suffers a crack, fracture, or other injuries. That said, this cosmetic benefit stems from more than just rebuilt structure. It ultimately depends on your dentist color-matching the crown to your enamel. Otherwise, the final result would be a whole tooth that doesn’t fit with the others. To learn more, here are three ways dentists ensure your crown is well-colored for your smile.
The Shade Guide
Besides color, dentists and dental staff also refer to teeth as having a shade. Unlike the former, the latter includes hue, chroma, and value. Hue is basically color, with those in teeth being yellow, red, or gray. Meanwhile, chroma is the hue’s intensity, and value is the shade’s brightness or darkness.
Given the importance of shade, a dentist’s most common tool for color-matching is the shade guide. This resource is a metal or plastic card with fake porcelain teeth of many shades arranged in a particular order. Your dentist will hold the guide by your teeth and compare the natural shade to the examples until a similar one is found. The comparison starts by learning the tooth’s value and then finds the hue and chroma.
Natural Light Assessment
Dentists will often try to make color decisions under natural light conditions. For instance, perhaps while near a window or under fluorescent bulbs that mimic natural light. Regular incandescent lights would make the process difficult, as they tend to be too yellow and make colors appear differently.
As part of the assessment, a dentist may ask their patient to remove any bright lipstick or makeup they’re wearing. Wearing such things can distort the perception of the tooth shade.
A dentist might reduce color contrast when deciding on a crown’s ideal shade.
Imagine, for example, that you’re wearing bright colors at your dental visit. In that case, the dentist may drape you with a gray bib to reduce the color contrast from bright clothing. The act would also give the dentist’s eyes a neutral resting place between looks at your teeth and the shade guide. The dentist will only look at your teeth for seven seconds before looking away at something neutral or gray to reset their eyes’ rod cells.
As you can see, careful thought goes into how your dentist color-matches your dental crown. Talk to them in the coming days to learn more about the treatment’s benefits.
About the Practice
Flenniken Family Dentistry is based in Carlisle, PA. As led by Drs. Neil Flenniken and Suzan Rismani-Flenniken, the practice aims to meet all its patients’ dental needs. To that end, it offers preventive, cosmetic, and restorative dentistry. The Flenniken team is also a qualified provider of dental sedation and Invisalign clear aligners. For more information or to book an appointment, you can reach them on their website or by phone at (717)-249-7777.