One of the essential factors in the success of matching dental restorations to an existing oral environment is the communication of color and characteristics present. Several factors affect the ability to properly choose a shade. The light source's quality is one of the most significant factors in influencing an accurate shade match.
While natural mid-day lighting provides the most precise lighting for selecting a color, it is not practical to rely on this for choosing a color on cases seen throughout the day. Therefore, the use of artificial light sources is the preferred option. Operatories with color-corrected lighting or full-spectrum LED lighting work well for this task. The ideal situation is that the lighting is balanced and as close to natural light as possible.
Indirect light sources can also affect the ability to properly choose a shade. These would include windows or outside lighting sources. It is a good idea to block out these outside light sources altogether when taking the shade.
Color influencers can also create poor shade evaluation. This includes the color of the operatory walls and floors. Bright colors on clothing or lipstick shades can cast colors that can be picked up when selecting the shade. It is therefore crucial that any surrounding colors be neutralized before taking the shade. You can do this by draping a neutral-colored cloth over the patient to hide any colors in their clothing and ask them to remove lipstick.