Prep shade and expected outcome shade. To improve the outcome predictability of an all-ceramic veneer or crown, I highly recommend clearly communicating the appearance of the prepared tooth. This can be accomplished in any of the following ways.

  1. Note that the tooth is normal in color and value. For example: The prepared tooth is A1.
  2. Noting the tooth is discolored relative to the adjacent teeth. For example: The prepared tooth is A3 and the adjacent teeth are A1.
  3. Noting that there is metal in the tooth. Example: There is a post and core present in the prepared tooth.
  4. Photograph the prepared tooth
  5. Photograph the prepared tooth with the shade tab in view. This is the most effective way because the technician has a standardized reference for direct comparison to the tooth. This essential information is used to determine the required opacity of the restoration in order to mask out any severe discolorations.
    • The shade tab can be the best match to the prepared tooth or of the desired shade of the final restoration.
    • If you want the most predictable outcome, have both the shade tab of the prepared tooth and the desired shade tab for the final restoration in the photograph. The technician can use this information to determine how many shade changes are required and how much masking is necessary.

Remember: A picture is worth a thousand words!