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Inside Dental Technology
December 2019
Volume 10, Issue 12

Shades of Intelligence

Take the guesswork out of shade matching with the CS 3700 intraoral scanner

Michael Kelly, DMD

Shade matching is not black and white; within the gray area is where you find success. Color, translucency, and gradation all must be taken into consideration for a truly natural-looking result. For years, shade guides, rough sketches, and best guesses were all that dentists and laboratories had to go on for achieving the (far from likely) perfect match for patients. Now, however, the Smart-shade matching technology built into the CS 3700—the latest scanner from Carestream Dental—takes the guesswork out of shade matching for accurate restorations without remakes, clearer dentist-laboratory communications, and more satisfied patients.

While there is existing shade-matching technology on the market today, it has always been a separate tool-meaning a separate investment—and something else that must be stored and maintained. However, Carestream Dental built its Smart-shade matching directly into the CS 3700's acquisition software. The scanner captures the true shade of the tooth by collecting the actual shade values from several views, considering all angles of the scanner. It is a patented technology called bidirectional reflectance distribution function (BRDF). Existing technology only measures color from the texture tooth image, whereas BRDF measures the color from the physical properties of the tooth material. Of course, since the process is digital, it also eliminates human error, such as choosing the wrong shade based on poor lighting or a change of position. The result is a more comprehensive picture of a tooth's natural color.

This advanced technology has not only led to more accurate shade matching but has also saved unnecessary back-and-forth communication between the dental practice and laboratory that can come with difficult cases, particularly those in the esthetic zone. It is not unusual for a single anterior tooth to go back to the laboratory at least once, if not twice. Dentists are always worried whether their notes and sketches sync up with the technician's vision. This can lead to multiple emails and phone calls for clarification—or, even worse, a remake. Instead, Smart-shade matching automatically compiles a detailed shade report with multilayer shade information for the selected area of interest. There is no delay due to questioning the shade, and the dentist can even use the CS 3700 to capture still intraoral images to include with the case for added assurance of accuracy.

When dentists can share exact, scientifically generated shade data, the laboratory is set up for success from the very beginning, reducing the guesswork, phone calls, and remakes. Most importantly, the patient is delivered a true-to-life match that will keep them smiling.

Key Takeaways

Smart-shade matching technology built into the CS 3700 takes the guesswork out of shade matching for accurate restorations without remakes
Bidirectional reflectance distribution function (BRDF) measures the color from the physical properties of the tooth material
Smart-shade matching automatically compiles a detailed shade report with multilayer shade information

Disclaimer: The statements and opinions contained in the preceding material are not of the editors, publisher, or the Editorial Board of Inside Dental Technology.

About the Author

Michael Kelly, DMD
Owner
Aesthetic Dentistry of Scottsdale
Scottsdale, AZ

Company Information
Carestream Dental
carestreamdental.com
800-944-6365

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