An Overview of Recent Advancements in Shade-Matching Technologies

Dentists are well-aware of the challenges of shade-matching. The patient will always want the end-product to look as natural as possible, and it is the obligation of the dentist to exceed this expectation every single time. Otherwise, you risk losing patients. And with social standards demanding an ever-more uniform esthetic standard, dentists have their work cut out for them in restorative and cosmetic work.

Luckily for dentists, there have been some steep improvements in shade-matching technology in recent years that make it easier to achieve color uniformity for even the most discolored teeth. Dental imaging and shade matching software and tools have never been so good, nor have there been as many options for dentists looking to improve their shade-matching performance today.

Here is a rundown of three of the most important trends in shade-matching technology today.


More Variety in Shade Matching

Dentists involved in esthetic restoration increasingly need to understand the workings of light rays and reflection. In particular, dentists need to account for the influence that lighting in the room has on their perception of the color gradient range in the patient’s teeth. Most dental offices have fluorescent lighting, which emits a high concentration of blue light waves and are actually not suitable for shade matching. To overcome this issue, dentists should perform shade matching tests early and often with patients, starting from the very first consultation and making shade comparisons under different types of lighting (fluorescent, incandescent, natural light). Digital shade matching can do a near-perfect job of matching the color gradient of a new tooth to the existing color, but it’s the job of a dentist to account for differences in light emission in the natural environment that impact the shading of the teeth.


Less Use of Porcelains

As digital shade matching technology improves the accuracy of shade and hue, dentists have less need to incorporate porcelains into the crown or filling. Hue selection, chroma selection, and value selection are all rendered more accurate to the patient’s natural tooth coloring, making it possible to achieve accuracy the first time around without the need for delicate materials like porcelain or staining after the fact.


Rounding It Up

Today’s aesthetic standard demands seamless appearance and natural symmetry over months and even years. This requires that dentists pay close attention to the innovative tools at their disposal that will help them achieve a color match every single time. Achieving success is restorative dentistry comes down to three things: methodical tooth preparation, excellent tissue management, and thorough treatment planning over months and years. The technological advancements in shade-matching can help with the first two stages of the restorative process. They should not be overlooked! Contact your dental professional for more information today.