Comparing the effectiveness of shade measurement by intraoral scanner, digital spectrophotometer, and visual shade assessment

J Esthet Restor Dent. 2021 Dec;33(8):1166-1174. doi: 10.1111/jerd.12810. Epub 2021 Aug 16.


Objective: Trios3 (3Shape, Denmark) intraoral scanner is complete with a tooth shade measurement function, but there is limited information about its efficacy. This in vivo study aimed to evaluate this function in relation to visual and spectrophotometric shade determination.

Materials and methods: Ten dental students from Semmelweis University determined tooth shade for 10 volunteers using Vita A1-D4 (VC) and Vita Linearguide 3D-Master (LG) guides, Vita Easyshade spectrophotometer (ES) and Trios 3 intraoral scanner (TR). First and last patient was always the same (Patient R). Intrapersonal repeatability was calculated. Four selected shades of each tooth were presented to student, supervisor, and patient to select best match. Selection percentages were calculated. The supervisor's best match was the reference (∆E00 ).

Results: Median ∆E00 of Patient R: TR 1.09; VC 1.5; ES 2.35; LG 3.1. The percentages of best match: VC 16.7%.; TR 21.64%; ES 26.58%; LG 34.08%. Median ∆E00 of students' and supervisor's best match: LG 2.73; ES 4.29; TR 4.29; VC 16.35. TR was the most repeatable. The most "best-match shade tabs" were selected using LG. VC shade tabs was the least consistent with the examined teeth.

Conclusions: TR can be used for shade selection with a 3D-Master tooth color system with visual verification.

Clinical significance: Correct tooth shade determination is one of the most important step in making esthetic restorations. New shade matching systems have been developed to surpass the visual method of shade determination. There are new intraoral scanners with built-in shade measurement functions. Digital shade determination methods are more independent from the environmental circumstances, and with intraoral scanners, it is easy to measure the tooth shade by taking a digital impression at the same time. These new devices may be a reliable alternative method for shade selection with visual verification.

Keywords: color science; digital dentistry.

MeSH terms

  • Color
  • Color Perception
  • Dental Prosthesis Design*
  • Humans
  • Prosthesis Coloring*
  • Spectrophotometry