When a dentist recommends a restoration, patient acceptance will depend on how the restoration looks in the mouth. After all, the patient, who feels he or she is spending a lot of money on the restoration, wants to look natural, and if possible, better than he or she did before the restoration was placed.
In an ideal situation, this ‘esthetic’ expectation would be assessed with the patient by the person who prepares the restoration, i.e. the dental technician. However, more often than not, this is not the case. In general, the dental technician receives a minimum amount of information about the expected esthetic results that the patient desires.
The dentist decides on the ‘color’ of the restoration to the best of his ability with the aid of a reference method that uses shade guides. The Vitapan Classical A1–D4 Shadeguide®’1 is still the most used or copied shade guide in the world. The ´best matching´ color from such a shade guide is passed onto the laboratory. The ‘actual’ situation now becomes a ‘factual' one.
From this point on, the focus and belief is that matching this ‘real’ color will fulfill the patient’s esthetic needs. This is a misconception which regularly leads to the dentist losing time with a patient because neither the dentist nor the patient is satisfied with the look of the restoration. The dental technician also loses time because, as part of their service, the restoration will have to be made again.
At the end of 1999, Elephant set about resolving this problem with an innovative approach, seeking in a reduction in the financial losses for the entire team.
’1 Vitapan Classical A1 – D4 Shadeguide is a registered trade name of Vita Zahnfabrik H. Rauter GmbH & Co. KG.