Dr. James C. DeFinnis's Dental Blog

Wilkes Barre Family Dentist Dr. James C. DeFinnis

Too Many Shades of Teeth

Despite the lack of a standard for measuring tooth color, dentists rely on mostly trial and error to determine the shade of a person’s teeth. This especially applies to whitening procedures where dentists need to know the current shade and the expected shade after the process. For this, the dentists use a shade guide.

This guide, usually a cast model of teeth with different shades, provides an accurate gauge of a set of teeth’s shade level. A dentist usually carries four sets of shade guides, each set with a different shade color (reddish brown, reddish yellow, gray, and reddish gray). The leftmost tooth in the set is always the whitest, while the rightmost tooth is the darkest.

Using the shade guide is as easy as matching the shade of teeth with those in the set. This helps dentists determine the proper way to administer teeth whitening, among other dental operations. An in-house whitening procedure may see a change of between two and seven shade levels, although some patients have claimed up to nine levels.

However, the International Commission on Illumination in Vienna has developed a far more accurate model that can be used for future shade guides. This model uses three major color receptors—blue, red, and green—for a more objective result that satisfies both visual and clinical factors.

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April 28, 2014 - Posted by | Back Mountain Dental, General Dentistry, Oral Hygiene | , , ,

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