Digital Photography

Digital photography has become an essential tool in shade restoration.

cadcam3Digital Photography has become an essential tool for matching and verifying the shade of a restoration to the patient’s natural dentition. There are many factors in the dental office that can disrupt or interfere with an accurate shade selection process, from retinal fatigue, background colors and color blindness to lighting conditions and medication.

Digital photography provides a more objective interpretation and helps our ceramic technicians gain more information about the patient that was previously limited to a stone model. Detailed sketches of tooth mapping and shading nuances are an important communication tool. Photos show us the exact placement of color variations, transitions, intensities and translucencies. Although study models are better for morphology, photos can help show midline and incisal plane relations of uppers to lowers. A full-face photo of the patient smiling communicates personality, the smile line and how much of the teeth show when smiling. A stone model cannot.

Suggested Digital Requirements: (click here for digital photography tech tip)
1. Include the shade tab in the photo as it provides an objective color reference.
2. Hold the tab on the same plane as the tooth. Be sure tab number is visible.
3. Take photo at a slight angle to the facial surface to show surface texture better.
4. Ideally provide four photos.
5. A retracted photo of upper and lower teeth slightly apart.
6. A close-up photo with shade tab.
7. A photo of stump shade.
8. A smiling full-face photo.

Method of Communication to Expertec:
• Email your photos in a .jpeg or. tiff file to
• We will print your photos to accompany the case through the lab.
• We scan those photos into our laboratory software.
• We “attach” those scanned photos to that patient’s case history The photos stay with the case.

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