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The Science Behind Smart Shade-Matching


From butterfly wings and peacock feathers to abalone and beetle shells, beautiful displays of color in nature have long captured our attention and imagination. Behind each of these phenomena is a shared origin—an optical effect called structural color. While most colors in living organisms are produced by pigments or dyes alone, structural color occurs as a result of the interaction of light with biological nanostructures. For example, though a peacock’s tail feathers are pigmented brown, thanks to their intrinsic structure, they reflect blue, turquoise and green, giving them their magnificent iridescent appearance.

Scientific replication of structural color opens up a world of possibilities. Thanks to the brilliant, adaptive and long-lasting properties of structural color, it shows disruptive potential across a range of industries. Tokuyama Dental America’s OMNICHROMA®, a new resin-based restorative material, represents structural color’s first implementation in dentistry. Though a recent addition to the realm of composites, studies show that OMNICHROMA not only stands up against tried and true materials, it offers dentists an easier, smarter way to create stunning, shade-accurate direct restorations.

OMNICHROMA owes its unique structural color mechanism to Tokuyama’s Smart Chromatic Technology, the product of 35 years of research and development. Smart Chromatic Technology employs identical, 260nm spherical fillers to imbue OMNICHROMA with structural color and flawlessly match surrounding dentition. As ambient light passes through the composite, red-to-yellow structural color is generated. This then combines with reflections of neighboring teeth to reproduce any of the 16 VITA classical shades and beyond.

With just one universal shade, you can wow patients by crafting expertly color-matched, life-like restorations in minimal time. OMNICHROMA eliminates the need for a costly inventory of shades and circumvents the often troublesome, time-consuming task of finding an exact match for a patient’s dentition. No longer do patients have to worry about composites becoming discolored or mismatched over time—even if they opt for bleaching at a later date, OMNICHROMA will seamlessly blend in with newly-whitened teeth for the picture-perfect smile everyone desires.

To learn more about OMNICHROMA and request a sample for your practice, visit

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