Thursday, April 23, 2015

Finding the Perfect Shade.

There are several differences between men and women in dentistry, many of which I have blogged about before.  However, one was brought to my attention the other day which is very interesting.  In case you didn’t know 7% of all men are colored blind, while only 0.4% of women are.  That is interesting as color blindness is encoded on the sex hormones and therefore many women are carriers but are not color blind.  But how does that interesting anomaly affect dentistry?  Well in my case, I am part of the 7%.   Specifically I can’t see many blues and reds.  Well let’s say I was doing a porcelain crown on your upper right central incisor and we need to match the shade to your upper left central incisor exactly.  When the laboratory technician is stacking the porcelain they use blue shades to mimic the translucency that many people have in their incisal edges of their central incisors.  Well if I can’t see the blue I can’t tell if the incisal edges match and it could look perfect to me but in actuality it is way off.  This is probably made worse with the fact that many teeth have orange or red tinges which I also cannot see.  Well, there is technology to the rescue.  We have used electronic shade matching computers for several years that can actually map several sections of your tooth to come up with a precise shade match on every portion of your tooth.  Is it perfect?  No, but with the help of an experienced and qualified laboratory technician we can get the shades really really close. And by the way, who are the best and most talented as techs at the laboratory to check shades?  Women of course.  Good Luck with those colors!  

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