Anterior provisionals are an important way to differentiate your practice. Patients, their friends and family and specialists are amazed by exquisite provisionals and it clearly demonstrates your offices commitment to excellence. One of the key ingredients is the shade, matching value, chroma and hue whether we are doing a single tooth or a full arch. All of our provisional materials are monochromatic and can appear lifeless even when polished. With the simple step of custom staining we can add life, vibrancy and depth to the provisional. If you are unsure of the final color the patient is selecting you can also begin with a very light provisional material for the patient to evaluate. If they think the want to go darker, it is easy to stain the material up in color and now the patient has actually seen both options in their own mouth.
I use several different ways to stain provisionals. Kerr makes a product called Kolor + Plus, designed as a composite stain it is available in a kit containing multiple colors. I use two colors from the set when staining provisionals, ochre and blue. The ochre stain is ideal for bringing the chroma and hue of the provisional up, while the blue adds the effect of incisal and interproximal translucency. If you are routinely adding stain and characterization between the dentin and enamel layers of anterior composites you will use the entire set of colors. For provisionals I dilute the stain with either the resin from my dentin adhesive or Palaseal by Heraeus. Using a brush I paint the provisional and cure for 20 seconds. Once we are happy with the effects I add a layer of Palaseal and cure in a light oven.
You can also create your own stain using porcelain powders added to the resin of your dentin adhesive or Palaseal. They are applied the same way and cured. If you add color that is too intense, it can be simply removed with a rubber wheel. I add the stain in small increments until we reach the effect we are after. I normally stain the provisionals in the patients mouth so we can evaluate the result as we go.