Colour assessment.
How good are you?




Persons practicing colour assessment, and stay trained, perform best.








Calibrate yourself regularly.

Finding the best colour match for your restorations, crowns and bridges, is often frustrating, but do not despair, as training and practice makes you better and more confident.

This was the conclusion after a small test among the employees at NIOM, where we asked 20 participants to match shade tabs from two VITA Classical ® Shade Guides. One of the Shade Guides was blinded, the other was not.

Traditionally, shade guides are based on empiric observations and mimic naturally occurring colours. Newer shade guides are based more scientifically. Nevertheless, colour is a personal perception of reflected light in our eyes.

NIOM’s little test show that persons practicing colour assessment, and stay trained, perform best. Experienced dentists and dental technicians using their clinical judgement, find the best colour match. This is competence, understood as the combination of practical experience and knowledge. The study among NIOM employees also indicate that the age of the participants does not seem to influence the result, although women had a slight tendency to score better than their male counterparts did.

In order to find the basic colour of a tooth, which can be modified by characterization techniques, it is recommended to hold the shade tabs at a distance of 30-40 cm. Do not stare directly at the specific tooth or shade tab, take a more distant glance at the entire situation where the tooth is a functional part. Make a quick decision, your eyes gets weary after 8 to 10 seconds.

Finally, it would be advisable to calibrate yourself by performing our little comparison test, preferably every year. All you need is two identical shade guides, blind one of them and match the tabs under normal light conditions at your clinical practice. Good luck!



Hvor god er du til å bestemme farge på restaureringene dine?
Wellendorf H, Staxrud F
Den norske tannlegeforenings tidende 2018; 128 (11): 924-927