Documenting Shade Information for Your Laboratory

James Fondriest, DDS

(as presented to the Restorative Academy 2005)



Well exposed clinical photographs document details that are missed by the eyes when shade matching. By specifically manipulating the background, exposure angle of camera to the teeth, and the camera lens depth of field (aperture) in certain ways, the practitioner can magnify the value of the information in the images. The most important parameters of a good match can be documented with three groups of choreographed images strategically composed to highlight the different dimensions of a match.

Group 1 Shape and surface morphology documentation (Figure 1)

doc-1For the evaluation of surface morphology (texture and luster), you want to maximize the surface flash reflections by using a dual point or circumferential flash and flood the image with light.

  • Black background preferred but not mandatory
  • Dry and clean surface of tooth
  • Camera lens should be oriented perpendicular to the surface being evaluated
  • Lens aperture not important in this group
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