Allen Creek Family Dentistry

How Are Dental Crowns Color-Matched?

How Are Dental Crowns Color-Matched?

You learn you need a dental crown but are concerned it will stick out like a sore thumb. Although your tooth is weak and needs optimal protection against further damage and reinfection, you may worry about how it will potentially impact your smile’s aesthetics. Dental crowns are often made of all types of materials, but when it comes to producing one that is meant to blend in, you may even have a hard time seeing the difference between your real and artificial teeth. Read on to discover how your dentist color-matches these restorations to create a beautiful, seamless smile.

What is a Shade Guide?

When it comes to matching a patient’s new restoration to that of their tooth color, dentists use what is referred to as a shade guide. This plastic card with fake teeth allows experts to compare various shades to that of a person’s tooth enamel.

Each tooth possesses its own hue, chroma, and value, all of which work together to create a “shade.” Once a dentist identifies the value (light or dark), they move on to determine the hue (yellow, red, or gray) and chroma (intensity).

The Process for Selecting a Shade

Before a dentist can begin to identify the appropriate shade for your dental crown, they must make sure the lighting is natural. This can include being near a window or under lights that mimic that of what you might outside. If you are wearing bright-colored clothing or makeup, it may be necessary to cover these areas with a muted color to prevent the shade from being “thrown off.”

You will notice as your dentist attempts to identify the right shade, they will often refer to the more muted color to ensure their eyes rest and do not become overworked by the various colors.

Do not be surprised if your dentist inquires for a second opinion, either from you or a colleague. This allows another individual to appropriately examine the suggested shade, ensuring the right one is selected. Once the choice is made, your dentist will capture a digital image of your teeth before sending the photos and shade option to the dental laboratory. There, technicians will use the specifications to create a customized, fully functional crown.

While it is difficult for a restoration to match existing, natural teeth completely, dentists often get the color so close it is nearly impossible to tell a difference. This is why putting your smile in the hands of a trusted dental expert is essential. In doing so, you can expect results that help you to feel more confident.


6618 64th St. NE, Suite C, Marysville, WA 98270

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TUE 11:00 am - 7:00 pm

WED 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

THU 9:00 am - 6:00 pm

FRI 8:00 am - 3:00 pm

SAT - SUN Closed

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