Predictable shade matching and communicating shade information to the dental laboratory technician have proved to be a capricious undertaking. Numerous confounding variables exist for the observer—which may be extrinsic (such as light source and background color), intrinsic (such as genetics and eye fatigue), or a combination of both. To address these shortcomings, low-cost, easy-to-operate, color analysis instrumentation and software programs have been engineered for objective shade selection and precise color analysis. The shade matching protocols that now exist have made even the most challenging esthetic treatments predictable for both the clinician and the dental laboratory technician.
The demand on the contemporary dental practitioner to deliver life-like, indirect anterior restorations has intensified over the years as discerning patients have become increasingly aware of the reality that teeth make a significant impact on the overall esthetics of their outward appearance (Fig. 1).
1One of the primary challenges encountered by the restorative dentist and dental laboratory technician is the ability to meticulously communicate and replicate the nuance parameters of tooth shade characteristics.
- Burki Z.
- Watkins S.
- Wilson R.
- Fenlon M.
A randomized controlled trial to investigate the effects of dehydration on tooth colour.
J Dent. 2013; 41: 250-257
- Mahn E.
- Tortora S.C.
- Olate B.
- Cacciuttolo F.
- Kernitsky J.
- Jorquera G.
Comparison of visual analog shade matching, a digital visual method and a cross-polarized light filter, and a spectrophotometer for dental color matching.
J Prosthet Dent. 2021; 125: 511-516
The use of dental color shade guides and intraoral photographs captured with a digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) camera is commonly used to match teeth to artificial materials; however, the process has been reported to be inconsistent and subjective.
3Disparity in color between a fixed prosthesis and the adjacent natural dentition is unfortunately commonplace and has been reported to occur in as many as 63% of ceramic restorations.
- Hatırlı H.
- Karaarslan E.Ş.
- Yaşa B.
- Kılıç E.
- Yaylacı A.
Clinical effects of dehydration on tooth color: how much and how long?.
J Esthet Restor Dent. 2021; 33: 364-370
4To further complicate this process, various factors have been implicated in the struggle for precision in the shade selection process, including rapid tooth dehydration,
- Bergman B.
- Nilson H.
- Andersson M.
A longitudinal study of Procera ceramic-veneered titanium copings.
Int J Prosthodont. 1999; 12: 135-139
5changing ambient lighting conditions,
- Suliman S.
- Sulaiman T.A.
- Olafsson V.G.
- Delgado A.J.
- Donovan T.E.
- Heymann H.O.
Effect of time on tooth dehydration and rehydration.
J Esthet Restor Dent. 2019; 31: 118-123
- Carsten D.L.
Successful shade matching – what does it take?.
Compend Contin Educ Dent. 2003; 24 (180, 182 passim; quiz 188): 175-178
7and visual genetics.
- Okubo S.R.
- Kanawati A.
- Richards M.W.
- Childress S.
Evaluation of visual and instrument shade matching.
J Prosthet Dent. 1998; 80: 642-648
- Wagner S.
- Rioseco M.
- Ortuño D.
- Cortés M.F.
- Costa C.
Effectiveness of a protocol for teaching dental tooth color in students with color vision impairment.
J Esthet Restor Dent. 2020; 32: 601-606
To overcome the shortcomings and frustrations associated with human visualization and acquisition of analog shade tabs, utilizing instrumental methods, such as spectrophotometers and colorimeters, albeit expensive and requiring additional training,
9has been suggested because of their objective shade matching capacity.
- Gurrea J.
- Gurrea M.
- Bruguera A.
- Sampaio C.S.
- Janal M.
- Bonfante E.
- et al.
Evaluation of dental shade guide variability using cross-polarized photography.
Int J Periodontics Restorative Dent. 2016; 36: e76-e81
10The basis for this digital presentation was to demonstrate the straightforward communication between a dental clinician and a dental laboratory technician in the development of esthetic dental restorations. Successful collaboration was achieved by utilizing a novel colorimeter (Optishade StyleItaliano; Smile Line), a smartphone application (OptiShade App iOS; StyleItaliano), and a shade-matching software program (Matisse Software; LabMatisse; Fig. 2) that are cost-effective and uses a predictable shade-matching technology that can be effectively operated without traditional shade guides or DSLR cameras (Fig. 3).
- Chu S.J.
- Trushkowsky R.D.
- Paravina R.D.
Dental color matching instruments and systems. Review of clinical and research aspects.
J Dent. 2010; 38:Suppl 2: e2-e16
Traditional clinical and laboratory methods in the treatment planning and fabrication of esthetic restorations were reviewed. Contemporary, collaborative protocols employing the most-current dental shade matching technology were outlined for 2 patient treatments involving the restoration and single-visit delivery of single central maxillary incisors with complete-coverage high-strength ceramic crowns for a natural tooth (Fig. 4) and an endosseous implant.
- A randomized controlled trial to investigate the effects of dehydration on tooth colour.J Dent. 2013; 41: 250-257
- Comparison of visual analog shade matching, a digital visual method and a cross-polarized light filter, and a spectrophotometer for dental color matching.J Prosthet Dent. 2021; 125: 511-516
- Clinical effects of dehydration on tooth color: how much and how long?.J Esthet Restor Dent. 2021; 33: 364-370
- A longitudinal study of Procera ceramic-veneered titanium copings.Int J Prosthodont. 1999; 12: 135-139
- Effect of time on tooth dehydration and rehydration.J Esthet Restor Dent. 2019; 31: 118-123
- Successful shade matching – what does it take?.Compend Contin Educ Dent. 2003; 24 (180, 182 passim; quiz 188): 175-178
- Evaluation of visual and instrument shade matching.J Prosthet Dent. 1998; 80: 642-648
- Effectiveness of a protocol for teaching dental tooth color in students with color vision impairment.J Esthet Restor Dent. 2020; 32: 601-606
- Evaluation of dental shade guide variability using cross-polarized photography.Int J Periodontics Restorative Dent. 2016; 36: e76-e81
- Dental color matching instruments and systems. Review of clinical and research aspects.J Dent. 2010; 38:Suppl 2: e2-e16
© 2022 by the Editorial Council for The Journal of Prosthetic Dentistry.