- Many conventional shade guides are ceramic. Ceramic and composite have very different optical properties, so don’t rely on a ceramic shade tab to match your composite.
- There is a lot of variation in shade for composites. Don’t believe me? Take a few different brands of A2, dispense them on a glass slab, cure, and see for yourself!
- It is important to know the classification of the composite you are using. Different classifications of composite have different filler content and different physical and optical properties. For example, a heavily filled hybrid composite offers more opacity and strength than a nanofilled composite that is intended for an enamel replacement.
- It is extremely common for composite to appear different after it is completely cured.
If you don’t have a kit to fabricate them, this can be easily done by indexing an existing shade tab into putty. Once the putty is set, you can use that as a template for custom shade tabs, and they can be affixed to a handle (I use coffee stirrers!). I fabricate a custom shade tab for every composite (figure 3) I have and color code them so I can easily identify my dentin shades, enamel shades, and value shades.
- One of my favorite things right now: Carbon Nitrile Gloves from Cranberry
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