The Role of Intraoral Scanners in the Shade Matching Process: A Systematic Review

Mohammed A Akl, Dina Mansour, Fengyuan Zheng

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Purpose: The variation in findings with regards to the accuracy and precision of intraoral scanners for shade selection are no doubt confusing for clinicians who may find it difficult to make evidence-based decisions. The aim of this systematic review is to provide a comprehensive and in-depth assessment of available studies to determine the viability of using intraoral scanners for the purpose of shade matching. The PICO guided research question is as follows: when shade matching, are intraoral scanners as valid as visual or other digital shade measuring devices in determining tooth colors.
Methods: Electronic databases including PubMed/MEDLINE, SCOPUS, EBSCO, Cochrane, and ProQuest were systematically searched for articles published between January 1, 2011 and December 30, 2021 using the main search terms: “intraoral scanners,” “scanners,” “TRIOS,” “CEREC,” “Planmeca,” “Medit,” “digital dentistry” in concurrence with one of the following keywords: “EasyShade” OR “shade selection” OR “shade matching” OR “shade” OR “tooth color” OR “tooth shade” OR “digital shade matching.” Bibliographies of included articles and the following journals were searched for relevant articles: Journal of Prosthetic Dentistry, Journal of Prosthodontics, Journal of Esthetic and Restorative Dentistry, Journal of Advanced Prosthodontics, and Journal of Dentistry. A total of 15 articles were included in the review.
Results: Intraoral scanners are highly repeatable for shade matching, and outperformed visual shade matching. Accuracy varied significantly between studies, with the majority recommending the use of visual shade matching to confirm/verify the intraoral scanner results. Setting intraoral scanners to the Vita 3D Master shade guide improved both accuracy and precision. Shade matching with intraoral scanners may be influenced by external factors such as ambient light sources and incorrect use or manipulation.
Conclusion: Intraoral scanners set to the Vita 3D Master shade guide may be used for shade matching, but shade should be verified with visual shade matching. Further studies are required to address limitations of current studies.
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Prosthodontics
StatePublished - Aug 2 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Authors. Journal of Prosthodontics published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of American College of Prosthodontists.


  • Color science
  • Digital dentistry
  • Intraoral scanners
  • Shade matching
  • Shade selection
  • digital dentistry
  • intraoral scanners
  • shade matching
  • shade selection

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Review
  • Journal Article
  • Systematic Review


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