shDr. Harker has been a dentist in Southeast Calgary for more than 3 decades. For years Dr. Harker has chosen to use the experts at Aurum as his dental laboratory of choice, sending his patients to the lab for their custom shade needs.

The Problem

As COVID-19 shut down businesses across the country, and social distancing went into effect, Dr. Harker’s patients were no longer able to come into Aurum Calgary’s offices.

Dr. Harker was concerned that without the option for in-person customer shades, he would have to find another laboratory. He needed a way to continue giving his patient’s high-quality results for complex, custom shade cases, without sending them to the lab.

With a long-standing customer’s business on the line, Joana, ceramist at Aurum Calgary offered an effective alternative – ShadeWave Mobile.

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Across the world, people are now reaching for their phones instead of their digital cameras to take photos. The dental world is no different. Every day, more dentists are reaching for their iPhones instead of their digital cameras when taking clinical pictures.

Although phones are familiar and convenient, there have been issues that hinder their effectiveness.

The two largest issues that dentists face when choosing to use their iPhone cameras are:

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There are so many complicated aspects of dental photography, so I love it when I can share a simple tip with dentists that will make huge improvements in their dental photos.

The simple tip that I would like to share with you is to make sure that your patient is on the same plane as the camera when the picture is taken. Even though it may seem simpler to leave the patient laying horizontally in the dental chair and take the picture from above, bright operatory lights will eliminate large amounts of detail in the picture that the lab technician needs.

What do we suggest?

Take the time to raise the dental chair higher and tilt the chair forward so that the patient is in an upright position at the same height as the photographer. This will vastly reduce unwanted reflections. Also, it is helpful to have the patient turn their head toward the camera to ensure even lighting over their entire smile.

If you found this tip helpful, share it with your dental colleagues! If you’d like to learn more ways to quickly improve your dental photography, click here, or go to

Take your dental shade matching to a new level. Click to Schedule a Personal Demo of ShadeWave today!

Shade Tab Incisal Edge Up, or Down in Dental Photography?

It is becoming very popular for dentists to include a shade tab in the dental photo of their patient when the picture is meant to help a dental lab technician with tooth shade and characterization. This is great!

We wanted to take a moment to correct one small, but very important mistake that we are seeing.

When holding the shade tab up to the appropriate tooth, the dentist needs to make sure that the incisal edge of the shade tab is pointed up. Why is this so important?

We include a shade tab in the picture so that the lab technician can compare it to the patient’s tooth in the photo. Therefore, there needs to be as little reflection on both the patient’s tooth and the shade tab. When the shade tab’s incisal edge faces up, the flash of the camera bounces up, and is not seen in the picture. If it is facing down however, the flash will reflect back at the camera, and will degrade the usefulness of the image.

Please watch this video to see this concept explained.

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The dental field is a constantly shifting landscape. Advances in the industry are exploding into the market every day. Products like CAD CAM milling machines are quickly growing from an abstract concept, into an industry standard. Patient records have jumped from physical to digital.  And there is a constant pressure to stay competitive.
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