Variation in color between intended matched shade and fabricated shade of dental porcelain

Alvin G. Wee, Peter Monaghan, William M. Johnston

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

115 Scopus citations


Statement of problem. The total quantifiable color difference between shade matching and shade duplication has not been investigated formally. Purpose. The purpose of this in vitro study was to evaluate and compare the color difference of the total color replication process and the direction of the individual color parameters for 3 dental porcelain shade-matching systems. Material and methods. The shade of 11 porcelain master disks was determined visually and instrumentally using 3 porcelain shade-matching systems: (1) Vita Lumin/Vita VMK 68, (2) Vitapan 3D-Master/Vita Omega 900, and (3) Shofu ShadeEye-EX/Vintage Halo. Corresponding porcelain disks made of 4.5 mm opaque and 1 mm dentin porcelain were fabricated with each of the porcelain systems. The colors of the master disks and fabricated disks (CIE L* a* b* coordinates) were measured with a spectroradiometer with a 45°/0° configuration. Repeated-measures analysis of variance was used to evaluate within-group differences among the porcelain systems for the total color difference (ΔE) and direction of the color parameters (ΔL, Δa, and Δb). The Ryan-Einot-Gabriel-Welsch multiple range test was used for post-hoc analysis (α=.05). Results. The largest mean ΔE was recorded for the Vitapan 3D-Master system, which was significantly different from the other systems (P=.0024). A significant difference was found between the interaction of the different systems and the direction of color (P=.0024). The amount of change within each color parameter was dependent on the porcelain system, as well as the amount of change among the color parameters. Conclusion. Within the limitations of this study, the results suggest that reliable delivery of a properly matched restoration to existing porcelain restorations cannot be ensured regardless of the shade assessment method used (visual or computer-generated).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)657-666
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Prosthetic Dentistry
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This project was supported in part by the Ohio State University College of Dentistry's Summer Research Program (NIH/NIDCR grant DE 07155-13) and the Ohio State University's Clinical Research Curriculum (NIH/NHLBI grant K30 HL04162). The material was presented in part at the 78th General Session of the International Association for Dental Research, Washington, D.C., April 5-8, 2000.


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