"In her case, we better consult a dental technician." Surprised patients regularly hear this phrase when it comes to determining the color of their dentures. For the patients, the proximity of a dental laboratory pays off in terms of aesthetics, since the tooth color can be determined exactly only in personal contact. A study of more than 80, 000 patients has revealed that there are 26 "typical" tooth colors that are suitable for more than 90 percent of Germans. Women have lighter teeth than men, younger ones lighter than older ones. To cope with these individual differences requires a lot of experience, precision and tact from the dental technician and the dentist.
Determination of tooth color is precision work
"After all, the dentures should fit perfectly into the aesthetically beautiful image of the dentition, " says dental technician Roland Unzeit the high standards, which should be sufficient in the laboratory produced tooth. "Matching of real and artificial teeth in the individual tooth color is one of the most important quality features at all, " says the expert. Because the satisfaction of the patient with his dentures depends not only on its function, but also crucially on the perfect aesthetics. Therefore, the dental technician and the dentist must be intensively concerned with the appearance of the entire dentition in order to find the right shade. To visually determine the color of the teeth, the dentist has various ready-made colored rings. By comparing with this "pattern" he can set the base color, which in most cases is still modified individually.
Create standardized conditions
Because every color impression is subjective, the visual color determination must eliminate possible confounding factors that could distort the result as far as possible. Therefore, very specific standardized framework conditions are important:
- The lighting in the treatment room should be similar to daylight.
- The room must be designed in a neutral way, because strongly colored surfaces such as colorful curtains or pictures could influence the color perception.
- The face of the patient must not be heavily made up. In particular, lipstick is taboo.
- Also, the clothes of the patient and dentist could falsify the result if it has too intense colors. That's why neutral, like gray smocks are ideal for both.
- The practitioner must be "color-able" to make the right decision. This means that he must be regularly trained in color determination and trained.
"Experience and routine are of particular importance in this area, " says Unzeit. In particularly difficult cases, the dentist gets the opinion of an experienced dental technician.
Digital color measurement
Because human color perception is just as different, it makes sense to look for objective color determination methods. In fact, there are already several digital gauges that calculate the color values you are looking for. But human perception can not be completely replaced by technology. For this reason, most dentists still rely on the visual comparison with the color rings for color determination - at least for the control of digitally determined values.