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J Prosthet Dent. 2009 Mar;101(3):193-9. doi: 10.1016/S0022-3913(09)60028-7.

Reliability and accuracy of four dental shade-matching devices.

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Department of Restorative Dentistry, State University of New York at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY 14214, USA.



There are several electronic shade-matching instruments available for clinical use, but the reliability and accuracy of these instruments have not been thoroughly investigated.


The purpose of this in vitro study was to evaluate the reliability and accuracy of 4 dental shade-matching instruments in a standardized environment.


Four shade-matching devices were tested: SpectroShade, ShadeVision, VITA Easyshade, and ShadeScan. Color measurements were made of 3 commercial shade guides (Vitapan Classical, Vitapan 3D-Master, and Chromascop). Shade tabs were placed in the middle of a gingival matrix (Shofu GUMY) with shade tabs of the same nominal shade from additional shade guides placed on both sides. Measurements were made of the central region of the shade tab positioned inside a black box. For the reliability assessment, each shade tab from each of the 3 shade guide types was measured 10 times. For the accuracy assessment, each shade tab from 10 guides of each of the 3 types evaluated was measured once. Differences in reliability and accuracy were evaluated using the Standard Normal z test (2 sided) (alpha=.05) with Bonferroni correction.


Reliability of devices was as follows: ShadeVision, 99.0%; SpectroShade, 96.9%; VITA Easyshade, 96.4%; and ShadeScan, 87.4%. A significant difference in reliability was found between ShadeVision and ShadeScan (P=.008). All other comparisons showed similar reliability. Accuracy of devices was as follows: VITA Easyshade, 92.6%; ShadeVision, 84.8%; SpectroShade, 80.2%; and ShadeScan, 66.8%. Significant differences in accuracy were found between all device pairs (P<.001) for all comparisons except for SpectroShade versus ShadeVision (P=.033).


Most devices had similar high reliability (over 96%), indicating predictable shade values from repeated measurements. However, there was more variability in accuracy among devices (67-93%), and differences in accuracy were seen with most device comparisons.

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