Should you care what light your dentist is using?

It has been said that matching natural teeth with an artificial restoration can be one of the most challenging procedures
in restorative dentistry.

 

So if you are the individual in the chair, what piece of basic infrastructure will you hope your dentist has installed correctly?

 


The answer is lighting. Our ability to perceive colour accurately is altered by the light under which we view it. Under standard artificial light with its mix of three colours (rather than natural lights seven colours) the human eye will miss gradations of colour.

 

If a dentist is serious about getting accurate colour reproduction, they will be paying attention to concepts such as kelvins and colour rendering indexes. A standard articial light will give a colour temperature of 2700 kelvins, compared to the 5500 Kelvins of a full-spectrum bulb. And 5500 kelvins are required to perceive colour properly. The colour rendering index of a standard light is 75 CRI but a dentist will need more than 93 to accurately match composite to your natural colour.

 

So for those looking for the most natural smiles, check with your dentist as to whether they have the right light to make it work.

 

For those interested in the details of how dentists colour match, a detailed document can be found here. And our partners AD-Lux of Finland have published photos of work they have done in dentists studios here.

 

Related posts:

  1. How accurate is your colour perception
  2. The Colour Rendering Index (CRI)
  3. Stop Flirting & Commit : Rules of Engagement With Colour
  4. Full-spectrum Light and Colour Perception

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