Purpose: The purpose of the study was to evaluate the visual shade matching performance of dental students using two conceptually different shade guides under three different artificial light sources.
Materials and methods: The shade matching performance of 100 (50 males and 50 females) undergraduate dental students was evaluated in a custom-made booth with two conceptually different shade guides, VITAPAN classical, and VITA 3D-Master, under three different artificial light sources: incandescent lamp with a color temperature of 2750 K, compact fluorescent lamp () with a color temperature of 6500 K, and light-emitting diode (LED) with a color temperature of 4000 K. In the viewing booth, the shades of the middle third of the selected shade tabs of two different shade guide sets were matched with the help of the other two shade guide sets.
Results: Out of 4800 shade matches done by 100 participants, only 34.27% were done correctly. Each participant performed 48 shade matches; 24 with VITAPAN classical and 24 with VITA 3D-Master. Female students performed better at shade matching than male students. There was a significant difference in mean scores of shades matching with the VITAPAN classical shade guide under different lights (p < 0.0001). A significant difference was also found in mean scores of shades matching with the VITA 3D-Master shade guide under different lights (p < 0.0001). The lighter shades were better matched by the students than the comparatively darker shades. No significant difference was found in mean scores of correct shades matching between the VITAPAN classical shade guide and VITA 3D-Master shade guide under different illuminants (p > 0.05).
Conclusion: The light source and lighting condition had a greater impact on shade matching performance than the shade guide. CFL or artificial cool daylight was found significantly better for shade matching in a dental setup than the other two illuminants used in this study. Although no significant difference was seen in shade matching performance with two different types of shade guides, the intraobserver agreement was better with the VITA 3D-Master.
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