Novel Trends in Dental Color Match Using Different Shade Selection Methods: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Louis Hardan, Rim Bourgi, Carlos Enrique Cuevas-Suárez*, Monika Lukomska-Szymanska, Ana Josefina Monjarás-ávila, Maciej Zarow, Natalia Jakubowicz, Gilbert Jorquera, Tarek Ashi, Davide Mancino, Naji Kharouf*, Youssef Haikel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Since color matching is considered a subjective procedure, accurate shade choice is often the most challenging stage of recreating the natural appearance of teeth. Furthermore, accurate determination of tooth color is imperative for the final outcome of dental restorations. The purpose of this research is to assess the accuracy of color match between diverse shade selection methods throughout a systematic review and meta-analysis. Two independent investigators (L.H. and R.B.) screened the literature in five electronic databases. Randomized controlled trials or in vitro papers studying the effect of using either digital shade selection or visual shade selection on the accuracy of color match were included. A total of 13 manuscripts comprised the meta-analysis. Color difference (∆E) between restorations where the shade matching was performed by the conventional method was greater than those where the shade matching was performed by computerized methods (p = 0.007). According to the subgroup analysis, only the use of digital photographs for shade matching showed a reduction in the (∆E) (p < 0.0001), while the use of a spectrophotometer has no advantages over the use of visual shade guide tabs (p = 0.57). On the other hand, global analysis showed that incorrect shade matching was higher when the conventional method using shade guide tabs was used (p < 0.001), irrespective of whether a spectrophotometer or a digital camera was used (p < 0.001). This study concluded that the use of digital photography and spectrophotometric measurements led to fewer color differences and less incorrect shade matching than conventional methods using color shade tabs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number468
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Color
  • Dental shade
  • Digital dentistry
  • Shade selection
  • Smartphone


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