The "correct" tooth shade is more than just a question of perception

The perception, selection and reproduction of tooth colors are extremely complex issues, often reaching the limits of the human perception. Colors are perceived in a highly subjective way. However, when color is quantified using numerical values, subjectivity is removed and consistent, reproducible color is achieved.


   The color space

   Colors can be clearly defined scientifically through a three-dimensional (3D) model - the color space.

The three variables or dimensions of color are:


Each color can be accurately established with these parameters and the respective numerical values.


Within the color space, the tooth shades are situated in the yellow-red area - with gradating lightness and chroma.   The segment of the color space encompassing all natural tooth colors resembles the shape of a banana in an upright position.


The tooth color space

Tooth colors are situated in the upper lightness area of the color space, well defined as yellow-red color tones. The shape of this tooth color space resembles a banana in an upright position.

This signifies that all tooth shades - regardless of perception - can be clearly defined. Knowing the position of the color space of natural teeth provides the basis for reliable and accurate shade determination and allows for aesthetically perfect tooth reproduction.