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The Importance of Stump Shade Taking

When an all-ceramic case (e.Max or High Translucent Zirconia) arrives in the laboratory, the dies are treated to match the shade of patient’s prepared tooth structure. This procedure is done so that:

  1. The technician can select the correct shaded e.Max ingot or Zirconia block.
  2. The staining process will be adjusted according to the dentin/stump color.
  3. At the quality control inspections along the way, the technician can know how the restoration will look in the mouth.

Tips for taking stump shades:
• Take the shade as soon as you have finished prepping, so the dentin/stump is not dehydrated.
• Use a stump shade guide that matches the shade of the prepared teeth. You may even use the cervical shade of any shade guide to take a stump shade.
• Hold the shade tab in the same plane as the tooth and photograph it. Make sure the printed shade guide number is captured in the photograph.
• If the shade is between two shades, it can be helpful to have both shade guides in the photograph.
• Stump shades are needed for all-ceramic (e.Max and High Translucent Zirconia).
• When stump shades vary within a smile makeover due to a root canal or post build-up, use composite to block out the darkness and match the adjacent stump.

As with all restorations, the more information provided to the laboratory the more accurate restoration will be fabricated.

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