New Trends of Colour and Background Effect in Restorative Dentistry

(Pages: 14-17)

Riccardo Monterubbianesi, Giovanna Orsini and Angelo Putignano

Department of Clinical Sciences and Stomatology, Polytechnic University of Marche, Via Tronto 10, 66020 Ancona, Italy


Abstract: Evaluation of the right colour is an important step in restorative dentistry. In history, clinicians started to take the colour with subjective methods. For instance, shade guides were used to compare the teeth with their colour tabs and choose the right one. However, this method presents some issues related to the clinician: everyone perceives colours in different ways, not only because humans differ from each other, but also because they can be affected by local, physiological, physical and psychologically uncontrolled factors, such as fatigue, aging, emotions and lighting conditions. All these factors together contribute to make the subjective method unpredictable. For this reason, new instruments need to be exploited by clinicians in order to describe teeth colour in a more accurate and objective manner, thus applying the objective method. The digital camera, the colorimeter and the spectrophotometer are some of the instruments that can be used to reach this purpose. In both the subjective and objective methods, during determination of the colour, the clinician often focuses on teeth and forgets what surrounds it, like the black background of the mouth or the environmental light. These elements may influence the perception of the colour and, mainly in clinicians with a low level of experience, they could lead to a wrong evaluation of right shades.  In order to solve these issues, different strategies can be applied by clinicians, such as making their own shade guide, mixing the objective and subjective methods, or use new devices.

Keywords: Spectrophotometer, Background effect, Tooth colour, Shade guide, Colorimeter.