Did you recently get cosmetic dentistry? You might have been happy with the results, for several months, but one day you looked at a picture of yourself and you realized that for some reason your dental veneers or crowns just don’t match. They stand out clearly as looking different than your natural teeth.
How could your dentist not notice such an obvious mismatch? Even more surprisingly, how could you go so many months without noticing? Are you going blind?
The problem isn’t with your eyes, it’s with the restorations, and the light. There are subtle differences between some cosmetic dentistry restorations and natural teeth that only show up under certain light conditions, such as sunlight.
The Luster of Life
One important visible quality of your restorations in their luster. Luster is a measure of the way that light interacts with the surface of a material. Different materials have different lusters, and mineralogists use many different terms to describe them. Teeth have what is often described as a vitreous luster, because they are similar to a natural glass. Restorations that are more plastic (such as composite veneers or bonding) might have a more resinous, waxy, or even dull luster.
Since luster is a property of light, it becomes more important in higher light conditions, such as when you are smiling in the sun. Sunlight can be more than two hundred times brighter than artificially lit environments, so there’s a lot more light to show the different luster of your restorations.
The Full Color Spectrum
Another issue of matching restorations is trying to get the color match precisely right. Often, restorations are matched in artificial light. Artificial light is typically only a partial spectrum. Depending on the type of light fixture used, the spectrum can be very different, with peaks at different parts of the light spectrum.
The apparent color of an object depends on how much of that color light gets reflected from the object. A color mismatch in a part of the spectrum not given off by artificial light wouldn’t show up until there’s a good supply of that light to be reflected, such as when you smile in bright sunlight.
A Natural Glow
Finally, we have to understand how even invisible light can affect the color match of your restorations. That’s because natural teeth have a property known as fluorescence. Fluorescent objects absorb invisible light (usually ultraviolet) and give off visible light. This is the property that makes some of your clothes and accessories glow in black light.
Because your natural teeth fluoresce, your smile is bright in sunlight, where there’s a significant amount of ultraviolet light. Unfortunately, some materials used for dental restorations don’t fluoresce, which makes them look more dull in light conditions like natural sunlight where there’s a lot of ultraviolet light.
Get Restorations That Really Match
If you are looking for the best cosmetic dentistry in Savannah, you need to ask your cosmetic dentist about the properties of restorations they use, including the luster, true color, and fluorescence. This will help ensure that you get restorations that look natural in all situations.
At The Durham Office in Savannah, our cosmetic dentists understand these properties of material and use them to help ensure you are always happy with your new smile under all light conditions. To schedule a consultation, please call (912) 234-8282 today for an appointment.