Tooth Shade Taking Tips
1. The the shade of the tooth at the beginning of the dental appointment. Teeth tend to dry out after a prolonged period of the mouth being open and this affects the color that we see.
2. Remove the patients lipstick and cover any brightly colored clothing as this will influence the color of the tooth to color matched.
3. Use a color corrected light source. Ideally 5500 degrees Kelvin. Most operatory lights produce a yellow or orange light, which will influence the color of the tooth.
4. Keep colored exam gloves away from the tooth to be shaded. This too will influence the color of the teeth.
5. Try both the classic Vita shade guide as well as the 3D Vita shade guide.
6. Take a photo. Even a photo from a smart phone is better than nothing. Like the old adage “a picture is worth a thousand words”. Be sure that shade tab selected is the photo.
7. If there any doubts in the color, send the patient to dental lab.
Author: Jim Shumker, RDT