Custom Shades and Custom Stains


Custom staining is a FREE service we offer to our LOYAL ACCOUNTS ONLY.


The value of this kind of service is usually between $350-$500 per case plus the cost of crown(s).


Click button for a quick description of a chair side custom stain

or scroll down for Frequently Asked Questions.





What is a chair side Custom Stain?
How can I become a loyal account?

To qualify, your practice must consistently send regular work to Alpine Dental Designs that totals a minimum of $2000 per month.

What is a custom shade?

A custom shade appointment involves the patient coming to the lab so the technician can verify the shade of his/her natural dentition against various tooth colored tabs.

The technician will also take a series of photographs that will be used when the crown is manufactured.

Every cosmetic restoration manufactured by Alpine Dental Designs is carefully layered in order to match each patient’s unique tooth structure and color.

Can our dental office provide a base shade for anterior teeth? Can you customize the base shade at the seat appointment?

We do not deny your ability to take a base shade, but teeth are very complex and us, as technicians, understand exactly which materials are needed for achieving a desired look.

When we see a patient, we do not just check the shade, we also check the mamelons formation, buccal anatomy, translucency and surface texture of the tooth we are matching.

At the seat appointment, if the restoration is not properly layered, adding stains will just make the restoration look dull.

Acrylic tabs are only a reference point for the technician.


What information should I give the patient prior to their custom shade appointment?

Please provide them with the shade card (supplied by the lab).

Make sure they understand the importance of being ON TIME at the scheduled appointment. First appointment is always FREE, but if the patient misses it without notifying the lab, $50 will be added to the invoice for the next appointment. If the patient no shows again to the second appointment, the third appointment is $100.


How long will a custom shade appointment take?
A regular custom shade verification takes approximately 20 minutes unless the patient wants to discuss their expectations and preferences.
What if a patient has unrealistic expectations?

We hope that, by the time the patient comes to the lab, the doctor has already explained what can be achieved.

If we see anything unusual, we will contact your office and discuss the outcome.

There are situations where the patient has had too much trauma or too much discoloration on the tooth we are restoring.

We will do our best to achieve great results but, keep in mind that sometimes genetics and/or trauma can work against us.

Sometimes the patients can be difficult. How do you handle that?

We understand that restoring front teeth can be a very difficult and scary decision.

As long as everybody is polite and understands that this process may take several weeks to complete, we are happy to deal with difficult situations.

The patients spend a lot of money on cosmetic restorations and it is understandable that they want the best.

That’s what we’re here for.

Could I schedule the seat appointment as a regular crown?

Please DO NOT schedule the seat appointment until the patient has come to the lab for the custom shade verification.

We work with many dental practices and scheduling can sometime be challenging.

After we see the patient, we will call you to schedule the chair side custom stain appointment. At the time of the call, we will give you a few days and times we are available in order to make this easier for you to schedule the patient.

Please confirm the appointment with the lab as soon as you schedule it with the patient. Our appointments fill out fast.

Can you take an accurate shade at the time of the prep?

It is impossible to take an accurate shade after the patient has been numbed.

The teeth become dehydrated and chalky from keeping the mouth open for too long and the numbing solution also interferes with the blood supply of the teeth, changing the shade.

What is a chair side custom stain?

At the appointment seat, Andreea will bring the completed crown, an oven and a staining kit.

Any characterizations needed will be done at this appointment inside the patient’s mouth.

The majority of the times, Andreea doesn’t need to make any adjustments.

How long will a custom stain appointment take?
We recommend that you allow one hour for the appointment in case the patient, the doctor or Andreea want to make any changes.
Can you add contacts at the custom stain appointment?
We can add porcelain to contacts, black triangles areas and minor incisal edge length.
Can you do a custom stain on a full contour zirconia?

Full contour zirconias are mostly monochromatic.

Natural teeth are made up of a puzzle of colors and translucent areas. They are never monochromatic.

For that reason, we do not do any custom staining on full contour zirconia.

Do you do custom staining on posterior crowns?

We do not usually do custom staining on posterior restorations.

In extreme situations, we will consider accommodating the patient.

What do I have to send to the lab in order for this procedure to be a success?

Full mouth impressions. Impressions must capture the details and contours of all the teeth in the mouth.

Minimum of three bite registrations. One over the prepped tooth/teeth and one on each side of the mouth. Include a facebow registration if we are fabricating more than 4 anteriors.

Stumpf shade and description of the prep (post and core, build-up, root canal, discoloration etc.) Photos of the prep are very important.

Pre-op photos or pre-op models for more complicated cases.

Provide a prep that follows the guidelines of the material specified for the restoration(s).

Make sure the prep is not protrusive in order to achieve life-like restorations. As a rule of thumb, a 1.2mm -1.4mm buccal reduction will provide the perfect reduction for any type of restoration.

Please fill out the prescription completely. The more information you send to the lab, the better the outcome.

Please make sure the temporaries do not impinge the tissue. This way, the integrity of the tissue is kept beautifully. Most of the times, if the temporary crown impinges the tissue, black triangle areas are created.

How do you handle the holiday season rush?

The holiday season is a very busy time for custom stains and it is up to your patients and your office to plan accordingly.

Without proper planning and early scheduling, the deadlines cannot be met for holidays and insurance purposes.

Also, our true loyal accounts will always have priority.

How many custom stains can I do in a month?

We limit the frequency of custom staining to approximately 1 custom stain for every 20 restorations.