Exact color matching of dental restorative materials to vital teeth is a difficult task. There are several reasons for this difficulty and they will be elaborated upon in the presentation. One of the most important reasons is the fact that teeth, as well as dental restorative materials are translucent, and thus the color impression is a product of light scattering, back scattering, transmission, and spectral modifications inside of these objects. Classic colorimetry is insufficient to provide an exact color match. Additional information about the translucency factor of the considered object (material and geometry) is necessary to provide full reproducibility. Translucency has a direct effect on perceived brightness.
In this article we describe the TransluDent, a complementary product to ColorDent, which measures translucency of teeth and dental materials. TransluDent determines translucency by measuring light transmitted through an object and light scattered inside of the object.
The translucency measurements were performed on two groups of subjects. One group consisted of people in their twenties and the second group of subjects was in fifties. For comparison several sets of dental shade-guides were also tested. The great discrepancy in translucency factor between human teeth and popular on the market shades may explain difficulty in color matching of dental restorative materials to teeth.