Int J Esthet Dent 1 (2006), No. 4 16. Jan. 2007
Accurate shade analysis and communication represent one of the biggest challenges in restorative and esthetic dentistry today, especially in light of the rapidly increasing array of ceramic materials available. Traditional methods of shade analysis have relied upon the use of conventional shade guides or, more recently, digital shade measurement. In this article, the author examines the advantages and disadvantages of traditional shade analysis; reviews principles for optimizing the evaluation process, including information regarding the scientific basis of general color science, optics, and aspects of material science; and proposes a six-step approach to shade analysis in which less emphasis is placed on shade guide samples in favor of natural internal structures and surface properties and their replication in different dentin, enamel, transparent, and colored translucent, as well as fluorescent and opalescent, ceramics.