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Learning Something New About Shade Matching


Before I began my career as a writer and editor of all things dental, my only interaction with dentistry was brushing my teeth, flossing (sometimes), and visiting my dentist twice a year (sometimes). After being immersed in this profession, I may know more than is good for me as a layperson, but it is fun to have my friends ask me questions about their oral health. The other day, for instance, a friend was telling me that her bite didn’t feel right. I asked if she’d had any recent dental treatment and she said she’d had a crown placed. "Ah-ha!" I said, "that’s probably the problem. Call your dentist and let him know. He can fix that for you."

The point of that story is that I’ve learned a lot and can steer people in the right direction, but there’s always an opportunity to learn more. In doing some research for an article the other day, I was perusing SDI’s website and came across this bit of interesting info: dentin is 95% of tooth color and enamel on 5%. Who knew? Okay, all of you dentists reading this probably knew that, but for me it was new information.

I also learned that SDI has a restorative material called Aura that makes it really easy to identify tooth color and then match it. First you use the dentin shade guides, matching any exposed dentin or where there is a thin cervical area of the tooth. Next, you select one of three enamel shades, which are based on patient age (E1, young or bleached teeth; E2, adult teeth; E3 senior teeth).

Lesson learned? There's always something new out there I've never heard of before, so keep looking and listening!


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