Fundamentals of color: Shade matching and communication in esthetic dentistry

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Fundamentals of color: Shade matching and communication in esthetic dentistry

UK: Quintessence price £47, pp 168 ISBN 0867154349 | ISBN: 0-867-15434-9

I received this book with a high degree of expectation, well aware of Quintessence Publishing's reputation for quality colour reproduction, as well as attention to detail. The concept of colour, the understanding of the underlying physical laws governing our perception of colour, communicating this information to members of the dental team, and incorporating this into relevant clinical applications has been an overlooked area of aesthetic/restorative dentistry.

The collaboration between the three authors, representing academic and clinical dentistry, and dental technology, has resulted in a book which covers this difficult topic thoroughly, while making it comprehensible for those who have forgotten their high school physics! There is a plethora of excellent graphics, supplemented with high quality clinical slides, illustrating the many aspects of colour understanding.

The book is organised rationally, taking us through the theories of colour and how these relate to the specifics of dentistry, and explaining how various elements affect colour and our perception of colour. Of notable importance is how this information should be used when choosing the appropriate restorative material.

The final half of the book deals with the myriad problems associated with shade matching, ranging from the traditional comparison of natural tooth shade to standardised shade guides, and concluding in detail with the various technical tools available to the clinician and technologist to quantify and communicate the appropriate shade for the restoration. Many clinical tips are given and illustrated allowing the clinician and technologist to establish a system whereby effective communication can be achieved, increasing the probability of producing predictable restorations. By using quality digital photography and innovations in spectrometric analysers, interpreted with computer technology, it is now within the realm of the GDP and technologist to create lifelike, naturally aesthetic restorations.

I can recommend this book for the dental student, experienced clinician, and technologist interested in learning about colour, shade communication, and how to use this knowledge in attaining quality restorations for their patients.

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Winkler, D. Fundamentals of color: Shade matching and communication in esthetic dentistry. Br Dent J 199, 59 (2005) doi:10.1038/sj.bdj.4812563

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