In esthetically critical situations, there may be a need to modify the final shade of a restoration. For try-in tips, please refer to my previous article, “Shade Evaluation of All Ceramic Restorations at Try-in.” The best scenario is that the dentist or staff applies surface stain to the restoration in the office, because the modification can be done intraorally.

The “final” outcome can be evaluated before the restoration is re-fired. Many variables can be eliminated and there is no need for communication to another individual who has not seen the intraoral outcome.

If there is a need to return the restoration to the laboratory, the best way to communicate with the ceramist is through digital photography. The most critical element in this process is to photograph the restoration after it has been inserted using try-in paste. The next step is to follow with a photograph that includes the shade tabs originally used for communications with the lab, next to the restoration and natural teeth. The restoration requiring adjustment and the photos are then returned to the laboratory for modification.