SHADE AND COLOUR
7.1 Introduction to aesthetics
Colour matching or shade taking is a subjective comparison of the tooth colour to an established shade guide. Many attempts have been made to produce an objective or computerised shade analysis device with varying degrees of success. The most challenging situations are those when a single tooth requires replacement and a match must be made to the adjacent teeth. The challenge may be complicated by having discoloured, worn or restored teeth to harmonise with.
Typically shades are taken by the clinician and sent to the technician on the prescription card. The detail required will depend upon the complexity of the case. When tackling aesthetically demanding cases it is useful for the technician to record the shade of the teeth and eliminate a possible error in communication.
Information you should find on the prescription card is as follows.
- The prescription card will typically have a diagram of the tooth. The minimum information required is a single shade which should refer to the central portion of the tooth (Figure 7.1.1).
- For more sophisticated shade taking, each square may be assessed individually. The area of translucency may also be highlighted.
- Accompanying this may be further detail regarding surface finish, defects or staining. There may also be photographs and study casts to assist in communicating the shade and texture.
7.2 Colour terminology
Hue: This is the colour family (e.g. red, green).
Chroma: This is the saturation/>