Services - Shade Taking
Whether you are selecting a shade tab or taking a picture, you can improve the accuracy of your shade by following these guidelines.

Tooth Must be Hydrated

It is best to take a tooth shade before preparation. After preparation, shades can be adversely affected for up to 24 hours.

Bleaching Patients

If a patient has been bleaching, then take shade at least 2 weeks after the last bleaching treatment.

Bright Colors Affect Shade

Eliminate sources of reflected or colored light. Remove lip-balm. Avoid bright colored clothing, otherwise cover any colored clothing with a light blue sheet or smock in the same way a hair dresser covers your clothing. Make sure there are no bright colors in the proximity of your shade taking area. Colors will reflect colored light and affect the accuracy of your shade and/or photographs.

Photography is your best shade tool

Advances in porcelain properties of opalescence, fluorescence, translucency and opacity have given the technician and practitioner the ability to match natural dentition more precisely than ever before. Communicating the patient’s tooth color to the laboratory technician has now become the most important link in successful shade matching.

A 35-mA 35mm photograph or digital images in combination with a quality shade matching system, like the Vita 3D-Master, are the best tools we have for color communication. (Intra-oral video camera printouts, Polaroid photos, written descriptions and drawings are of limited use for shade communication). To properly compose a 35mm shot, it is important to include the shade tab within the frame of the close-up photo. The incisal edge of the tab should be edge to edge with the incisal edge of the tooth. The tab should be in the same plane as the tooth (both tooth and tab should be the same distance from the flash) to allow the flash to illuminate both the tooth and the tab equally. Send the film with the case, and we will develop your shots for you. Or, send a digital image file on CD or transmit via e-mail to
(make sure e-mail file attachment is a * .jpeg or similar).

When bonding porcelain veneers, stump shade photos are crucial for the technician who must decide when to use clear porcelain for disappearing margarines, opaceous porcelain for hiding dark under-structure, or more chromatic porcelain for extra color. Additionally, internal and surface characterizations, as well as incisal translucency mapping can only be communicated properly by 35-mm photography. Written descriptions and drawings depicting characterizations, although handy and helpful are not enough. not enough.

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