When you think of your dentist, “artist” is probably not one of the first words you’d use to describe them. However, even though dentistry is primarily about oral health, it also requires a certain level of artistry. Otherwise, your teeth wouldn’t look nearly as good as they feel after being repaired with a dental crown, filling, or other restoration. Your dentist needs an artistic eye and a keen eye for detail to make your dental work look like a natural part of your smile. Read on to learn how this fascinating process works!
Choosing the Perfect Shade
Selecting the ideal color for your dental crown might not sound difficult at first. But teeth actually come in a much wider variety of colors than just white and yellow, and choosing the exact color makes a huge difference. If your crown is even one shade off than the teeth on either side of it, then your restoration could really stand out in your smile, especially if the crowned tooth is in the front of your mouth.
To ensure the most seamless results possible, dentists typically use a shade guide. This plastic or metal card contains rows of artificial teeth, each one with a different hue. When your dentist holds this guide up to your pearly whites, they can identify the color that most closely resembles your natural tooth enamel.
How Your Dentist Color-Matches Your Crown
In addition to the shade guide, your dentist has several methods of making sure they’re choosing the perfect color for your dental crown. These techniques include:
- Reducing color contrast – Bright colors near your mouth could prevent your dentist from focusing on the true shade of your smile. You may be asked to avoid wearing brightly colored lipstick, makeup, or clothing to your appointment. The dentist might drape a gray bib over your clothes in order to eliminate any distracting color contrast that could inhibit their ability to find the right color for your crown.
- Using the correct lighting – The lighting in a particular area can have a huge impact on the way something looks. Viewing your teeth under regular incandescent lights can make your tooth appear too yellow, so your dentist will use natural light or specialized fluorescent lights instead.
Look Forward to Lifelike Results
Once your dentist has pinpointed the exact shade to use for your crown, they’ll send that information, as well as the mold from the impressions they took of your teeth, to a dental laboratory. The skilled ceramists there will carefully craft your restoration to match your precise specifications. When your crown is finally placed, it should look so much like your natural tooth that no one around you should be able to tell the difference!
About the Author
Dr. David M. Fisher earned his dental doctorate from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. For well over 20 years, he has been helping families enjoy healthy smiles at his Greensboro, NC dental practice. He offers dental crowns made from natural-looking materials like ceramic, and he always pays close attention to detail. With Dr. Fisher, you can be sure that your dental crown will look flawlessly natural! To learn more, you can contact his dental office by calling (336) 288-1242.