The Reliability and Accuracy of Tooth Shade Selection Using Smartphone Cameras


  • Paisarn Pansuwanwong, DDS. Institute of Dentistry, Department of Medical Services
  • Parinya Amornsettachai, DDS., MSc. Department of Advanced General Dentistry, Faculty of Dentistry, Mahidol University
  • Sumana Posritong, DDS., MSD., Ph.D. Institute of Dentistry, Department of Medical Services


Tooth shade selection, Smartphone camera, Spectrophotometer


Background: Tooth shade selection is one of the critical steps in dental treatment. Smartphone cameras have been used for tooth shade selection, but the reliability and accuracy of these devices are uncertain.Objective: To evaluate the reliability and accuracy of smartphone cameras, which included Apple iPhone X and Samsung Galaxy S9 plus for human tooth shade selection.Materials and methods: One of maxillary central incisors in 45 participants was captured with both smartphone cameras and color measured with spectrophotometer by using CIE Lab system. The data of L*, a*, b* was analyzed using one-way ANOVA with Tukey Post Hoc comparisons. In addition, ∆E * Lab value of each smartphone camera was calculated and compared with the reference (3.7). Kappa statistic was analyzed for the repeated image from each smartphone. Pearson correlation of L*, a*, b* and ∆E * Lab were also investigated.Results: Photos from both smartphones have high color reliability (Kappa> 0.9). However, the accuracy of the color from smartphone groups have different from spectrophotometer (∆E*Lab>3.7). The brightness of the image (L) significantly affects the accuracy of the color comparison.Conclusion: Smartphone camera provided high reliability in tooth shade selection but low in accuracy. In clinical setting, shade guide is still recommended to be the reference in the photo for better shade selection and communication with dental laboratory.


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How to Cite

Pansuwanwong P, Amornsettachai P, Posritong S. The Reliability and Accuracy of Tooth Shade Selection Using Smartphone Cameras. j dept med ser [Internet]. 2021 Dec. 2 [cited 2023 Jan. 31];46(3):105-11. Available from:



Original Article