In recent times as the demands of the patient shifts towards a more esthetically pleasing dental restoration for the tissues which need rehabilitation; the restorative materials which replace these tissues are needed to possess qualities which are similar to the natural tooth both in function and appearance. Since the appearance of tooth structure varies from individual to individual it is of great importance that the materials which replace the tooth structure are of optimum optical properties. Evaluating these optical properties become important so as to assess the effectiveness of these materials in fulfilling the esthetic demands of the dental patient. Properties such as colour stability, fluorescence come in to play here enabling the manufacturer, the researcher and ultimately the clinician to specifically define the optical characteristics of the restorative material. A thorough search of the online literature database reveals no such work which enlists and compiles all the data regarding testing the optical properties of the dental materials which is the need of the hour due to the continuous influx of newer materials in the market claiming to possess superior esthetic qualities. Several international organizations exist which propose standards for testing of these optical properties, along with studies published in articles from journals of repute. The main source of information for this manuscript is PUBMED and www.iso.org .
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