mainWe all know that providing our lab with images of shade tabs against adjacent teeth helps them to produce the best possible results for our patients. There are a couple of tips that will help your ceramist give you even better results – with minimal effort and time on your part.

This is a case that will be completed with the help of some pink porcelain to close embrasures. She had significant grafting to try to add vertical bone height to a 10mm defect after an implant failed. We were able to regain 8mm, which was not enough to get a perfect result but enough to satisfy her wish to have an implant done.

She bleached her teeth following initial provisionalization, which resulted in a challenge for the lab to match. However, she doesn't want perfect teeth – she just wants the new tooth to match the adjacent teeth. This might actually be fun for my ceramist since he gets to show off his skill in creating the subtle effects in her natural teeth. To help him see what is present we did several images with the shade tab in place.

The shade is the first thing I do before making the impression. I do not want the teeth to desiccate from her mouth being open. This type of image is the most common one we give to our lab. (Fig.1) Fig1Notice the craze lines that now become apparent in the left central. (Fig.2)

Fig2These images also emphasize the subtle shade change of the exposed cementum so that it might be reproduced in the final restoration. (Fig 3)

Fig3Finally, a straight on close-up shot shows details of the facial texture and contour as well as light reflections that the technician can now reproduce. (Fig. 4) Fig4These three additional images give the lab a tremendous advantage in providing the best possible result and only took an additional two minutes. I'll show you the results of the final restoration and how the pink is added to create embrasure closure in the future.