By Dr Lawrence Spindel, Saturday , July 19, 2008

Dentist New York


One of the biggest challenges in cosmetic dentistry is color selection for anterior teeth.  It not to hard to pick a color if a dentist is planning to fabricate 10 porcelain laminates, but to fix one front tooth and have it blend in can be difficult.

Most dentists look at teeth as consisting of three parts, Incisal third (near the edge), body third (in the middle) and cervical third (the part near the gum).  To complicate the matter further most lab technicians divide these parts into thirds.  This way they can really have a chance to observe the color variations that are necessary to fabricate a good looking single tooth restoration that blends.

I have the good fortune to practice in Manhattan and able to send my patients directly to my laboratory to pick the shades and make notes before they fabricate a restoration.

Before sending the patient, I take a high quality close up photo to show the laboratory. How the tooth looks.  Sometimes a ceramist will take his own photos Taking pictures is an extra step but it is worth it later on when the patient is not in front of the technician and he has to make their restoration.

Even with our best efforts, sometimes the restoration at try in is not optimal and the patient and the crown must be sent back for another attempt at making a restoration that truly blends.  Sometimes the restoration is the right color, but is too bright or too dark. .Either overly bright or dark teeth are immediately noticeable and it is more important to match the value (brightness or darkness) of the adjacent teeth, that to actually match the hue (color).

Eventually, with the combined efforts of the laboratory, the dentist and a patient  patient, an acceptable restoration can be achieved. Restoring a single restoration can be difficult and is a labor of love, but when it happens it is my pride and pleasure to be the dentist involved.