Color Theory Overview

The 3D-Master Shade Guide uses color science to communicate information about the appearance of teeth with the three dimensions of color: hue, value and chroma.

Tooth colors are situated in the upper lightness area of the color space, well-defined as yellow-red color tones.

The shape of this tooth color space resembles a banana in an upright position.

This signifies that all tooth shades – regardless of perception – can be clearly defined. Knowing the position of the color space of natural teeth provides the basis for reliable and accurate shade determination and allows for aesthetically perfect tooth reproduction.

Within the color space, the tooth shades are situated in the yellow-red area – with gradating lightness and chroma.

The segment of the color space encompassing all natural tooth colors resembles the shape of a banana in an upright position. 3d-master shade arrangement

The picture above shows the systematic spacing of the VITA 3D-Master shade tabs within the natural tooth-shade color space. (The 3 shades above the banana shape represent VITA 3D-Master bleach shades, which are not considered natural tooth shades.)



The VITA® Classical Shade Guide  (Previously called VITA Lumin Vacuum Shade Guide) Became a international standard and generally ensures good reproduction of the natural tooth shades.



However, such traditional shade determination systems are not very systematic. There are either voids in the coverage of the tooth color space or heavy concentrations of several colors.


The picture at left shows the spacing of the VITA Classical shade tabs within the natural tooth  color space. Shade tabs are not systematically spaced, making proper shade determination more difficult and the creation of intermediate shades highly subjective.