Composite shade guide optimizes composite matches

A shade guide made of composite materials is both a faster and more accurate method of determining color than the currently accepted ceramic method when working with composites, according to researchers from Aarhus University of Denmark (Journal of Esthetic and Restorative Dentistry, February 2011, Vol. 23:1, pp. 22-32).

They compared the shade tab arrangement of the Vitapan Classical shade guide(Vident) to that of an individual composite shade guide made from Filtek Supreme XT body colors (3M ESPE) using both the originally proposed arrangement principle and arranged according to ΔE2000 values with hue group division.

After 25 students matched color samples made from Filtek Supreme XT body colors using the two shade guides arranged after the two proposed principles (four shade guides in total), the researchers found that the proposed composite shade guide was both fastest and had the highest number of correct matches.

"A composite shade guide is superior compared to the ceramic Vitapan Classical guide when using composite test objects," the researchers noted. A rearrangement of the shade guide according to hue, subdivided according to ΔE2000, "significantly reduces the time needed to take a color sample and increases the number of correct shade matches," they concluded.

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