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Shade taking with photos



Jerry Ragle, CDT

A photo will never give the exact shade but it will show how well the shade guide matches as long as you follow these steps.

  • Best to take the shade first thing and not wait until after prep, impression, scan, etc.  Teeth will dehydrate, some more than others.  When this happens teeth can be off a half to one shade too light, or start to show decalcification when actually not there.   If the shade is taken last thing, patient should close for up to one hour for teeth to fully rehydriate. 

  • When taking a shade always hold the guide even with the facial plane of the tooth or teeth being matched.  As pictured, too far forward, the flash will brighten the shade guide.  The same applies if the guide is held too far back, or behind the teeth, the shade guide will then darken.  When the guide is held on the same plane the light will then relfect the same giving a more accurate correlation to the teeth being matched.   

  • Make sure the subject is in focus, if not retake the photo.

  • Always send photos in hi-res, 1mg or higher. Do not send as a thumbnail, 56kb, as an example.

  • Use the photo uploader at 

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