Dental Shade Photography Basics: Introduction

a series by dental ceramics specialist Mitch Bourgeois, CDT

If you’re running a busy dental office day in and day out, learning shade photography may not be at the top of your priority list (or on the list at all). However, there are many major benefits to using shade photography, including the ability to educate patients about treatments with real-life visual aids, the ability to better train team members and fellow practitioners on unique patient cases, and even to more effectively market your practice.

Regardless of this being the digital age, many dentists still have reservations about implementing photography into their practice. Learning the mechanics of a professional camera can feel overwhelming at first. After all, you went to school to treat patients, not to take pretty pictures. Maybe you’re convinced it will take hours of trial and error to figure it out…and then you have to do it all over again with your team members. Even if digital cameras are cheaper than before, they still add to your expenses at the end of the day.

In other words, it may feel like too much effort for not enough return.

However, at O’Brien Dental Lab, we believe that shade photography should work for you.

In fact, it can! It just takes having the right information, told in simple, easy-to-follow steps.

That’s why we are introducing to you the O’Brien Basics of Shade Photography series. With Mitch Bourgeois, CDT, as your guide, get ready to learn—through a series of 2-3 minute videos—the basics of shade photography. We will be covering:

  • Camera and Flash
  • Shade Blending and Metamerism: How Various Light Sources may Affect Dental Ceramic and Natural Teeth Differently (coming soon)
  • Lighting Changes Everything (coming soon)
  • Bright Gloves: How Glove Color Can Change Your Shade Photos (coming soon)
  • Dehydration of Teeth Can Change Color Value (coming this summer)
  • How to Use and Read the Vita 3-D Shade Guide (coming this summer)

We teach you only what you need to know about each topic, so you can start implementing these lessons in the office right away.

Ready to get started?

Learn What Camera Is Best For Shade Photography


“Will these photos work?”

“Is this camera good enough?”

“I don’t know where to begin!”

I’m Mitch for O’Brien Dental lab and I’d like to welcome you to the O’Brien Shade Basics.

The topic of shade photography can kind of be one of those, “Where do I even start,” conversations that a busy dental office may not know where to begin with, or even feel they have time for.

With that in mind, we’ve broken this series down into some bite-sized video segments that we hope will help you get started.

In each video I will take an individual topic and focus on a few main points. This will allow you to go straight to the topic you would like to concentrate on with greater ease, and efficiency.

Our goal is to help you improve what you do now, or perhaps take your first steps in getting started.

So, without further ado, “The O’Brien Shade Basics.”

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