Almost a year ago in a post I shared my experience using the EasyShade from Vita in the office to gather shade information. My personal experience with it has been nothing but positive ever since. I am asked often about whether it works, is it w worthy investment and I can share that I would not want to be without it in my office, but that is not very scientific. Today at the Society for Color and Appearance in Dentistry meeting in Chicago shade technology was covered from the podium. In a study by Lehman et al in 2002 they looked at the accuracy of visual shade determination versus shade technology. The overall results were that the technology was accurate 98 percent of the time, compared to visual determination being accurate only 70% of the time.
The study also separated visual determination between men and women, and reconfirmed that women are better at color perception than men. The women were accurate at visual shade determination 74% compared to men at 66%. If the statistics are not enough then we can think about numerous factors that impact our ability to chose a shade that have no impact on the technology. A few of those factors are:
- Color Perception: Different individuals are better or worse at color perception.
- Eye Fatigue: Our eyes become fatigued working all day, looking through loupes, looking at specific colors for an extended period of time and so on. Therefore our color perception is highly variable from day to day and moment to moment.
- Available Light: Visual color perception is totally dependent on the quality and quantity of light available in the operatory.
Technology like EasyShade are not a replacement for lots of digital photos for the ceramist and out interpretation of the subtlety of a tooth, incisal translucency, surface morphology and more when we are doing a complex esthetic case. It is the combination of what we bring to the equation based on perception and the accuracy of the color information the technology supplies that has it work.