Did you know that dentists often see themselves as artists just as much as medical professionals? Creating stunning and healthy smiles involves a perfect blend of art and science, especially when it comes to fixing teeth with dental crowns. Matching the color of teeth may sound challenging, especially given the limited range of natural tooth colors. But don’t worry – dentists have a toolbox of time-tested techniques, science, and modern tech to make the process seamless! Read on to learn more.
What Is a Dental Crown?
First, let’s start with the basics. A dental crown is a three-dimensional protective cap that’s placed over a tooth. It’s the recommended solution when a patient’s tooth is significantly worn down, has a cavity that’s too large for a regular filling, or has undergone a root canal. Crowns are also handy for masking teeth that are discolored or simply don’t look quite right.
The process involves the dentist removing the outer part of the tooth to make space for the crown. In some cases, they might even build up the tooth for a better fit. An impression of the tooth is then taken to create a custom-made crown. While waiting for the permanent crown, patients may receive a temporary one. Once the new crown is ready, the dentist cements it securely in place during a follow-up visit.
How Are Dental Crowns Color-Matched?
Your teeth aren’t all the same color – they come in a range of hues, brightness, and translucency. This is influenced by your genetics, age, and lifestyle. As you can imagine, dentists must keep all these factors in mind when choosing the color for your dental crown.
Here are some ways they match your natural tooth color:
- Shade Guides – Dentists use something called shade guides, which are color charts specifically for teeth. These guides help dentists pick the closest match to your natural tooth color based on factors such as brightness and hue. It’s like finding the right paint color for your walls, but for your teeth!
- Digital Technology – Thanks to technology, there are now fancy devices that use digital imaging to capture the exact shades of your teeth. This ensures an even more precise match for your dental crown. These gadgets not only look at color, but also the texture and translucency of your natural teeth.
- Your Neighboring Teeth – Dentists take a good look at the colors of the teeth next to the one getting a crown. They want to avoid any weird contrasts that might make your dental work stand out.
Next time you marvel at how seamlessly your dental crown fits in with your other teeth, remember it’s not just chance. It’s the result of science, high-tech tools, and a touch of artistic magic – all working together to give you a smile that feels just right!
About the Author
Dr. Masha Kogan, a graduate of New York University and NYU’s College of Dentistry, holds a Doctor of Dental Surgery degree. With a commitment to restorative dentistry, she completed a General Residency at Hackensack University Hospital. If you need to schedule a dental crown appointment, don’t hesitate to reach out to Dr. Kogan or the Dental Center of Westport team. You can schedule an appointment via their website or call (203) 227-8700.