teeth colour matching

For a Good Aesthetic Result, Management of the Tooth Colour is Vital

It is the art of making artificial teeth look natural and good. This is achieved through a combination of:


  • Selection of a suitable colour for the new teeth.
    • This will usually be lighter than the patients' current colour, to provide aesthetic improvement.
    • However, a "brilliant white" is rarely the best choice.
    • We will assist in colour matching and our tooth colour
    • We can include shading and gradients of colour for a more finish that fits with the rest of the mouth
  • Whitening of the patient's own natural teeth to match the new teeth


A shade is a 3 dimensional colour by number map interpreting existing teeth and soft tissues to be copied good crown matching ceases when the original dentition darkens over time


  • Colour management is whitening teeth before replacement, copying the crowns to the new whitened shade
  • Future topping up will keep colour differences at bay


Shade takingIC Dental Studios - Experts in Shading and Colour Matching 

This is an area of expertise for us and vital to the result. We follow a process as follows:

Shade Taking

This is communicating the colour of the tooth or teeth and tissues to be made in the context of future treatment plans and is based upon:-

  • The patient's perception of colour and shape
  • The dentist's direction
  • The shade taker's perception
  • All in one millisecond of light influenced by the immediate environment

This provides a clear map for the technician to interpret.

Shade guide

(a) Correct shade guide

  • Vita 3-D™ shade guides give a true value of the tooth in photographs
  • colour adjustments will only be chromatic avoiding remaking


(b) Shades of:-

  • Surrounding teeth
  • Core
  • Map of non-vital teeth
  • Gingiva


Shade taking equipment(c) Photographs of:-

  • Before
  • Full face, profile, lips retracted, the smile with prototypes in situ showing incisal silhouettes and contrasts
  • Vita 3-D™ shade tabs and soft tissue tabs in the photographs or clearly written

Digital photography has replaced film because it is cheap, quick, instant and images can be enlarged and enhanced on a computer. Dentists are advised to choose a camera with:

  • Quick successive photo rate
  • Takes 19 out of 20 shots in focus
  • Minimum 3 million pixels; more pixels will allow more distance from the subject, giving increased light in the mouth so improving focussing - cropped images become more detailed
  • Good flash intensity and direction
  • A tripod if using macro, with the patient's static
  • The background should be neutral grey so as not to influence the surrounding light

teeth shades

(d) Shade taking equipment

Shade taking equipment measure in varying ways

  • Some are spectrophotometers (they have 32 filters and do not catch all of the data as they only measure every 10 nanometers along the visible spectrum)
  • Some are colourimeters (they measure 90,000 nanometers along the visible spectrum) e.g Shade Vision™ which we use - it also draws from three colour databases for each tooth


(e) Treatment plans

  • The patient is consulted on whether they like the appearance of their existing teeth and how they would like their new ones to look
  • The long term objectives and desires of the patient are discussed
  • The patient's smile line and position of facial features are noted
  • A denture teeth selection chart can be used to decide on the shape of the teeth

IC Dental Studios

01285 821386


The Club Room, Miserden, nr Cheltenham, Gloucestershire GL6 7JA

Opening Hours: Mon - Fri 9am - 5pm

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