Dental Technology

Quantitative Shade Matching & Digital Try In

The dreaded single central crown… How many of us feel confident that we can deliver an acceptable restoration on the first try?

We even prepare our patients for the inevitable follow up appointments to “fine tune” the shade. Let’s not even start the discussion of how to charge for this. So, maybe we just veneer the other central for a better match, even if it didn’t need the restoration. If we are hoping to preserve as much natural tooth structure as possible, then obviously this is not ideal.

An Incredibly Technical Task

Shade matching in the anterior, especially for a single tooth, is one of the most difficult endeavors in dentistry. The level of accuracy has to be so high it can become frustrating for the dentist, ceramist and patient very quickly. The subjectivity of this incredibly technical task only serves to further complicate the results. If a picture is worth a thousand words, then it takes a novel to describe a single anterior tooth!

The eLab Alternative

What if we could quantify shade in a way that guided the technician in creating the restoration? What if we could perform a “digital try in” with a high level of accuracy? What if we could know with a higher level of certainty what truly isn’t right about the shade and make the correction in the lab? This is what the eLab protocol provides us: quantitative shade matching using calibrated polarized images, a digital try in and more success.

At the 2019 Annual Pankey Meeting in September, I will present the eLab protocol and describe image acquisition and calibration so the technician can use this information to aid in both fabrication and verification of the final restoration.

Wouldn’t you love to work more predictably with your technician, even when in different geographic locations? Join us from September 12-14 to see what’s possible!

Dr. Charlie Ward

Dr. Charlie Ward graduated from University of Maryland Dental School in 2008. He began his Pankey journey in 2009 and recently joined the visiting faculty in 2018. He practices restorative dentistry in Towson, MD and Millersville, MD with his partner Dr. Devon Conklin and his wife and periodontist Dr. Melody Ward. They have two boys, Cyrus and Lucas. He and his technician, Joshua Polansky, MDT, were early adopters of the eLab system.

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