Choosing color in prosthodontics

Prosthetic work is intended to functionally and aesthetically restore dental units that have been altered or lost as a result of carious processes or injuries of any other nature.

In the rehabilitation of the oral cavity there are a number of principles that must be followed to achieve the practitioner’s goals.

One of these principles is the ability of the dental prosthetic unit to restore the natural color and appearance of the tooth.

Methods of choosing the color in the dental practice

Visual methods:

  • There are a variety of shade guide systems on the market today that are used to determine the color of the future denture. These focus on identifying the three parameters of color, i.e. shade, saturation and brightness. Visual determination is quick to carry out but ideal results are rarely obtained because the method depends on many factors such as:

  • The perception of the practitioner: vision is a particular trait, varying from one individual to another, therefore visual recordings are subjective methods.

  • Light in the dental practice: the amount of natural light, the time of day when the color recording is made and the artificial light source are factors that greatly influence the final result.

  • Patient factors: clothing color, skin tone.

Instrumental methods:

Performed with special calibrated devices to accurately identify dental parameters.

The most commonly used in the dental practice is the spectrophotometer. The great advantage is that it is an objective method, not influenced by environmental factors or the practitioner’s visual acuity.

The disadvantages of this method are its high cost and the need for sophisticated equipment.

Most dental practices use the visual assessment method. Although it is a subjective method, it allows for a slight negotiation with the patient in order to reach a mutually satisfactory result.

Limitations and interactions in the choice of dental color

Problems that can generate negative interactions between doctor and patient arise from the latter’s desire to have very white teeth.

The light color of dentures is a feature that patients frequently request, without being aware that the too white tint highlights the false appearance of dental crowns.

From what should be a harmonious prosthetic work with the patient’s features, it can lead to a failure in terms of shade choice if there is a lack of communication between dentist and patient.

Therefore, the choice of color is an important decision that should be made after good communication between the two parties.

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