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FAQs -> colour-matching -> viewing question

question (id # 400)

I want to replace one of my two crowns at the front due to the gap between the gum and the crown.  I understand the gap is caused by shrinkage of the gum.  What guarantee is there of a perfect match if I have it replaced without replacing the other perfectly good crown.

answer 1

There can be 100% guarantee if you replace both crowns.

There can be no guarantee if you try to match one new to one old crown as the porcelain manufacture process is a manual technique that is different for every technician, and varies even then, with different stages of colours and depths of colour being added in stages and temperature variations in the ovens that fire the porcelain layers as the crown is built up. The porcelains available to the technicians have better properties to give improved aesthetic results compared to even two years ago, and look different to older porcelains which were more opaque and dull.

If you thought matching paint on a wall in your house was difficult when your child drew crayon over it a year after you decorated? It is ten times harder to colour match porcelain.

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answered by Dr Nigel Braine-Hartnell BDS

answer 2

The solution to your question is to seek help from the right team. The dentist works very closely with his technician to achieve the desired result and this may well involve seeing the technician also, to perfect the match until everyone is satisfied.

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answered by Dr Peter Workman BDS

answer 3

A great result would depend on the quality of the ceramist being used.  It would depend on the existing colour match to your own teeth and crowns.  Also your overall smile would need to be taken into account.

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answered by Dr David Bloom BDS

answer 4

Difficult question!  The most difficult teeth to match are the two front teeth as your eye constantly scans between the two. Even in this most difficult match there are two ways of getting a 95%+ match. One is for you to see the technician and have the shade matched. If he made the original crowns he will even be able to match the porcelains.  Secondly, we can send a digital photograph of your teeth with a matching shade placed next to them, so that the technician can copy the variations within your teeth.
However, if you are insistent on the new crown matching an existent crown to the highest degree, have them both done. After all, your teeth have probably darkened since you had the originals done, or you may want to whiten your natural teeth. You'll make an old technician very happy.

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answered by Dr Nigel Jones BDS

answer 5

There can be no guarantee without replacing both, however a good technician can make a very good copy provided that the crowns are fairly simple or, alternatively, if the technician sees the patient and makes the crown of the same materials as the one that is to be matched. The problem is that in the same way as matching natural teeth it is achievable sometimes but may be less good in some types of light - natural, flourescent, tungsten etc. This effect of change in different light is known as metamerism and needs to be considered for some patients more than others depending on their jobs or lifestyle.

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answered by

answer 6

None ;  although it is possible,  you rely on great shade taking skills and excellent communication with the laboratory.  Consider going to the lab making  the crown and letting the technician take the shade for you.

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answered by Dr Chris French BDS

answer 7

If the original prescription of colour still exists and the lab that made it is still manufacturing and the same dentist is being used, then there is a good chance that all can be matched again precisely.  If not, with the latest technology, this problem can be easily overcome using colour measurement guns and digital photography.

If it is an old crown, you should weigh up the pros and cons of replacing other old crowns in your mouth at the same time. The pros being you get a much better colour match.  This is a good opportunity to check for decay under old crowns, therefore ensuring longevity of your root stumps and root canals.

If starting again, technology has moved on and much more aesthetic and realistic results are achievable, as materials have improved.  The concept of colour management can also play a part for long-term colour stability within the whole of the oral environment.  The cons are this all costs much more money.

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answered by Mr TJ Nicolas

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