A prerequisite for accurate shade reproduction is the precise and efficient transfer of relevant tooth shade information from the dentist to the dental technician. Digital communication with software and app solutions such as VITA ShadeAssist and VITA mobileAssist (VITA Zahnfabrik, Bad Säckingen, Germany) enables the transmission of acquired measurement data and patient photos in seconds. For example, the practice can send information via Bluetooth from a tablet, directly from the treatment unit to the technical workplace. Dr. Philipp Grohmann (Berikon, Switzerland) reports in an interview how he successfully implements this technology in routine clinical practice.
DV: What devices and systems do you use to efficiently exchange tooth shade information between yourself and the laboratory?
Dr. Philipp Grohmann: In addition to the VITA shade scales, I use the VITA Easyshade V digital shade measuring device and the associated VITA mobileAssist app.
DV: In your opinion, what measurement results and additional information are important for a technician to reproduce the tooth shade precisely?
Dr. Philipp Grohmann: Instead of a mere number like A3, the practice would ideally provide the associated Delta E value, the specific LCH (Lightness Chroma Hue) values, and intraoral photos.
DV: What process do you use to transmit digital tooth shade information from the practice to the laboratory?
Dr. Philipp Grohmann: In most cases, the laboratory receives intraoral photos and the tooth shade information determined with VITA Easyshade V via app by email. This provides the dental technician with a very good working foundation.
DV: What prior knowledge is required to successfully use the VITA software and app solutions in daily clinical and laboratory practice?
Dr. Philipp Grohmann: Naturally, it is helpful if you already know how to use certain programs on a tablet or similar device. But no special computer knowledge is required. The software is self-explanatory.
DV: How do you and your team benefit from using the new technologies for digital shade determination and communication?
Dr. Philipp Grohmann: The entire practice team was trained in a standardized workflow with the shade measuring device and app so that shade determination and communication take place very efficiently, objectively, and clearly. The unambiguous transmission of all information to the laboratory ensures predictable results in shade reproduction. The digital data can also be used for patient discussions, and it can be easily archived. This makes it simple to follow up on particular work steps. The use of the new technology is beneficial, particularly when the dental technician cannot be personally present for the shade selection.