Richard Cañizares, DMD
Prosthodontics and Cosmetic Dentistry
Marlene Rivera, DMD
Over the past few years, new technology has entered into shade matching, an aspect of the art and science of dentistry that has been inexact. The communication of shade between the dentist and the laboratory technician at a remote dental laboratory has always been challenging. While the contour, length, and width of an indirect restoration can be easily and accurately expressed through a study model, there had been no similarly direct orientation for shade matching in dentistry.
Until now, shade matching was subject to the vagaries of a dental practitioner's perceptions and the limitations of existing techniques that achieved outcomes of often inconsistent and dubious quality. Under these circumstances it is often the case that a doctor will be sure of the shade he or she prescribes for a particular restoration, only to receive back a unit from the laboratory that does not meet with expectations, but that the laboratory is equally certain meets the criteria of the data supplied.
Digital shade matching units standardize the measurements of hue, value, and chroma (the parameters used in the Munsell color system), so that technicians at a remote dental laboratory can apply these readings to existing porcelain formulas and achieve accurate results based on the information supplied. In other words, much of the guesswork inherently involved in shade matching for indirect dental restorations has been eliminated through the controls introduced by these products.
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