There are many variables to keep in mind, such as patient-bleached teeth, aged or damaged teeth, or previously restored centrals. In addition, there are factors such as dark dentin shades and metal posts. We strongly recommend that you educate your patients on how difficult it can be to match their existing teeth with a new crown. Then, carefully select a material that aligns with their best interests. We are here if you need to discuss your upcoming patients, and we are prepared to handle your cases in the best way possible. We are here to support your practice and your patients.
Take Time for Custom Shade Match
Taking the time to take pictures for custom shade-match will save a lot of trouble and frustration in the future, such as re-shading, patient dissatisfaction, wasted time, and embarrassment. Therefore, please take the time to send us as much information as possible. If your patient is currently bleaching, please let us know that, as well. Then, send us the final shade photos 2-3 weeks after bleaching is complete.
Thanks to modern technology, photographing your patients' teeth for shade information has never been easier. In the future, we encourage taking custom shade-match photos while your patients receive treatment at your office. We consider this the most time-efficient and cost-effective method for both your patients and staff.
Any modern digital camera will do the job, even your newest smartphone.
Simply follow the directions below:
- Using the natural bright light close to the window, pick the 2 closest shade guide tabs. Please wet your shade tab to simulate your patient's teeth as much as possible. As the patient's teeth will be wet, the reflection of the natural light of the dried shade tab may not be accurate.
- Take 3-4 pictures from different angles with each tab. The reflection of the natural light changes when the angle changes. It may look identical at one angle but may be entirely different at another angle. You want to capture 3-4 different angles. The more close-up pictures you take for custom shade match, the closer we can match the shade as crowns and bridges dental restorations.
- You may ask one of your staff to take a second look.
- If you use a smartphone, please use the optical zoom-in feature only.
Optical Zoom-in versus Digital Zoom-in,
When taking photos for shades with your newest smartphone, please use optical zoom-in (close-up) instead of digital zoom-in. Digital close-ups are nothing more than displaying images larger. Typically, your smartphone will have two or more lenses behind your phone. For example, the iPhone Pro has the following lenses: 0.5x (wide), 1x (main), and 3x (telephoto) or 5x (telephoto). Those are optical lenses. Please use optical zoom-in only when taking photos. If you are still not sure, please give us a call. We will be happy to walk you through.
When you use two fingers to close up, it's a digital zoom-in, which is nothing more than a software close-up and unsuitable for shade photo taking.
The bottom line is the image can be a little smaller, but crisp focus is most important. Again, please use natural lights if possible. Indoor light interferes with the detailed information we need.
Next, email the photos to The Art of Aesthetics. You may have to send a few emails to send all the photos. Alternatively, you can upload them into our Dropbox. Please be sure to write your patient's name in the subject line and show the shade tab in the photos.