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Article: Volume 47 Number 3 Page 238 - March 2020

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  Dent Update 2020; 47: 238-245

Prosthodontics:  Art and Science of Shade Matching

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Abstract: Shade selection is an important step in restorative procedures. The objective of this step is to provide aesthetically pleasing restorations which blend in with the existing dentition of the patient. This article highlights clinical difficulties which may hinder proper shade selection and a number of factors causing these difficulties. For ease of understanding, these factors have been divided into four categories. These are factors related to the dentist, the shade matching environment, the material used for shade selection and the patient. Because shade selection is an important step, it is recommended that this step should be given sufficient time. A checklist and a form for shade selection have also been devised to avoid any oversights during shade selection. This will help improve dentist laboratory communication which can result in an improved and aesthetically pleasing restoration.

Clinical relevance: Shade selection is a crucial step in the process of fabricating an aesthetically pleasing restoration.

Author notes: Mariya Khalid, BDS, FCPS(Prosthodontics), Assistant Professor in Department of Prosthodontics (email: and Mohammad Ali Chughtai, BDS, MHPE, FCPS, FFD RCSI(Prosthodontics), Professor in Department of Prosthodontics, Sardar Begum Dental College, Peshawar, Pakistan.

Objective: To create awareness among dentists of the possible difficulties while selecting a shade. The appropriate technique for shade selection is highlighted and a form is devised to improve communication with the laboratory.