Office for Technology Commercialization

Tooth Color Reproduction Using Photon Mapping Procedure

Technology #20130134

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Tooth Color MatchingTeeth PropertiesTooth Modeling
Jin Woo Jung
Restorative Sciences, School of Dentistry
Managed By
Larry Micek
Technology Licensing Officer 612-624-9568

Matching Tooth Color and Appearance

The tooth color reproduction software implements a new process that does a better job of capturing the properties of teeth than current methods. Conventional surface reflection models do not capture the appearance of translucent materials accurately due to their assumption that rays of light simply reflect off the surface of teeth as opposed to passing through. Current tooth modeling procedures have relied on visual inspection judging specific colors of biomaterials or the teeth themselves. This presents the problem of not capturing all the properties of the individual tooth that will help to match the color and characteristics to the other teeth.

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This technology is available via a standard negotiated license agreement. Contact Larry Micek for specific details.

Captures the Properties of Teeth

The volume photon mapping software can accurately reproduce the appearance of various shapes, colors, and biomaterials. The software also captures the properties of teeth and restorations are based on their volumetric optical characteristics. Other methods of dental color matching often ignore effects such as light scattering and absorption, even though teeth and biomaterials in dentistry are translucent materials. The software uses all these different aspects of teeth characterization to render an accurate reproduction of the tooth. The image helps in the aesthetic dentistry field by simulating the expected appearance. With optimal selection and scaling of relevant parameters, the software accomplishes the simulation in a much smaller time frame than current methods that would take multiple days as opposed to hours with this photon mapping software.


  • Faster visualization of light scattering materials
  • More accurately depicts properties of teeth
  • Uses more parameters for color matching
  • Avoids relying on visual inspection to determine tooth color