Reproducing the shade of a natural tooth with an inert material is difficult to do. Choosing the right shade becomes crucial, so you can be sure you are not making the wrong choice, the VITA brand has created a composite colour guide.
First we will see how to choose the best composite shade with the VITA Classical colour chart. You can then discover what the VITA Master 3D colour chart indicates- the latest model to help you choose the best tooth shade. Finally, don't miss our best advice to choose the correct tooth shade at your dental office!
How to choose the best composite shade with the VITA Classic Guide
The Classical VITA colour guide, with 16 shades ranging from A1-D4, you will be able to find the best shade for your dental restorations.
The classification allows you to find the shade closest to the tooth and then define the brightness.
The tints are first of all organized by shades:
- Reddish-brownish : A1 - A2 - A3 - A3,5 - A4
- Reddish-yellowish : B1 - B2 - B3 - B4
- Greyish : C1 - C2 - C3 - C4
- Reddish-grey : D2 - D3 - D4
Within these shades, either A, B, C or D, the shades are classified by a number from the lightest, 1, to the darkest and most intense, 4. Thus, a shade A1 will be a reddish-brown shade, just like shade A2, but the latter will be darker.
3- Choose the composite
Once the shade has been determined, you can use the dental composite of the defined shade. Many brands use the VITA classification system defined above. At Dentaltix, we recommend in particular the range of Tetric evoceram from Ivoclar Vivadent which offers very good quality composites with 16 VITA shades. Similarly, Gaenial composites offer a wide range of tones corresponding to VITA tones.
Go further: find the perfect composite shade with the Master 3D VITA guide.
After several statistical studies on the natural shades of patients' teeth, the VITA brand has improved its colour chart. They realized that the previous colour chart only covered some of the white shades actually found in patients and that some of the colours on the chart were not present in patients' teeth.
To do this, VITA created the Master 3D Colour Guide with 26 shades and three colour selection steps: identify the brightness group, find the saturation level and then find the color.
1- Identify the brightness group
First of all, it is a question of identifying the brightness group. On the VITA 3D Master color chart, the luminosities are classified from the lightest (group 0, corresponding to the bleach colours) to the darkest (group 5).
To do this, you can also use a black and white photo of the colour chart, this can make it easier for you to find the brightness group.
Let's give an example to explain the whole process. Imagine that we have identified that for the tooth we want to restore, the brightness group corresponds to group 2.
2- Find the Colour
Once the brightness group has been selected, the color must be identified. Indeed, teeth can have a yellow or red color. This is identified by the letters L, M or R in the light categories.
- L corresponds to yellow
- M is neutral
- R corresponds to red
In our example, in group 2 we look at whether the tooth's shade is closer to one colour or the other. Having a slightly pinkish shade, the tooth will correspond to group R. Thus, we have identified Group 2 R.
3- Find the intensity level
The last step is to find the intensity level. Take out the intensities of the identified group. It's then a matter of checking the intensity from 1 to 3.
To take our previous composite example, we just have to choose the intensity among the references of this group: it will correspond to intensity 2 for example. The corresponding shade is therefore 2R2.
4- Which composite to choose once the colour has been determined?
With the VITA Master 3D colour guide, you can now accurately determine the natural colour of your teeth. To then choose the best composite, the guide gives you the exact composition of the composites to be applied. Indeed, the guide provides a precise mathematical definition of tooth shades and gives you the possibility of mixing them together.
Last but not least: tips to determine the color of the composite
Whatever your colour chart is, here are some tips to avoid skewing the colour selection:
- Make sure to perform the test under neutral light, ideally in daylight.
- Give preference to a neutral environment, avoid make-up, lipstick, and brightly coloured clothing.
- Choose quickly: in case of doubt, always prefer the first option because after 5 to 7 seconds, the eye gets tired.
- Perform this test before preparation because then the color of the tooth with dehydrogenation becomes too whitish.
- Consider adjacent teeth and their color.
- Do not forget to disinfect the colour chart before and after each use.