Shade Matching CATEGORY DESCRIPTION
Once based largely on luck and subjectivity, shade matching now incorporates various advanced technologies that, along with visual assessment, greatly enhance the predictability of achieving accurately matched restorations. Among the approaches used to translate data from digital cameras into useful color information is a software system that uses high-resolution digital images and compares shades over the entire tooth with reference shades in the industry-standard shade guide database.
Spectrophotometers measure light energy reflected from an object at 1–25 nm intervals along the visible spectrum, with measurements often keyed to shade guides and converted to shade tab equivalents. Advances in spectrophotometry include cordless, portable contact-type units, systems that offer various measurement modes (e.g., tooth single and tooth area mode) and a digital camera/LED spectrophotometer combination with an internal computer with analytical software and the tooth positioning guidance system shown on an LCD touch screen.
Colorimeters measure tristimulus values and filter light in red, green and blue areas of the visible spectrum. Three separate databases (for gingival, middle and incisal third) provide complete tooth imaging, and a virtual try-in feature allows virtual testing of color reproduction during fabrication.
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