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FAQs -> colour-matching -> viewing question


question (id # 408)


In regard to my dentist  making me a crown and the choice of colour for it, is there not more to it than his just holding up a colour shade tab against my mouth in front of a window?   What is the opinion of your dental panel?

answer 1

Shade Taking


It can be seen that shade taking is more than just holding up a colour.  For a good shade, the dental surgeon needs to know the long-term objectives and desires of the patient.  Scenarios with or without tooth whitening must be discussed between dentist and laboratory since this can change the planning of the whole treatment.  The tools required in shade-taking are:-


 photographs and patient information


 shade guides


 treatment plans


 digital photography


 shade taking equipment


 diagnostic wax-ups and articulations


There are many shade guides to choose from:-


 laboratory technicians need the corresponding porcelain colours to those the dentist holds


 hue, value and chroma are a preference when choosing a shade guide. 


This means colour adjustment is usually a chromatic adjustment.  This prevents complete remakes, so chair-side colour adjustments can be made in the laboratory. 


Shade taking equipment :- 


Light spectrometers dominate the market and take a sample  of colour measurements across an area of tooth.  The more accurate colourimeters have 4 filters and so measure the entire surface in nanometers.  An example would be Shade Vision.    



Dentist Photograph

answered by Mr TJ Nicolas

answer 2

Teeth are made up of very many colours and different amounts of translucencies around the neck and tip of them.  This is what makes them look real because it takes the colour of the soft tissue into the crown.  


Depending upon the teeth being copied, getting a good colour match involves a colour map of various colours which can be taken, using modern technology.  Today, this can be done accurately, using a good digital camera and good colour  measurement guns that are available to everyone who practises dentistry.  All this is available if you look for it.  



Dentist Photograph

answered by






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Mr TJ Nicolas,
ICC Implant & Ceramic Ltd
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VITA 3D shade guide - click here to visit the Panadent website