As a dentist, you will be familiar with this situation: You have selected what you feel is the correct shade for your restoration, but the shade looks nonetheless too bright. The esthetic result is diminished. You are at a loss as to what caused this to happen. What can you do?
Light reflections are key
Tooth surfaces are not smooth. They exhibit horizontal growth lines, vertical grooves and subtle concavities and convexities. The scattered light reflected from the surface creates the light reflection. We perceive this light reflection as bright. This means: The more light is reflected, the brighter the tooth and/or restoration appears. If less light is reflected, the tooth and/or restoration appears to be darker.
Provide tooth surfaces with a morphologically correct texture
For this reason it is essential that you provide the surfaces of your restorations with an anatomically correct texture because the texture directly affects the brightness of the restoration. Besides the anatomical shape, the surface texture has a determining effect on the esthetic properties of the restoration. As a rule of thumb, ‘shape comes before shade!’. When contouring the shape of a restoration, you should take particular care to replicate the small areas of concavity and convexity found on the surface of natural teeth.
New guidebook gives useful tips
You can find further answers to this and many other questions regarding typical clinical challenges in a new practice guide: “Tips & tricks for direct restorative procedures”.