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The translucency and opacity of ceramics play a significant role in emulating the natural color of teeth, but studies of the masking properties and limitations of dental ceramics when used as monolayer restorations are lacking.The purpose of this in vitro study was to determine the translucency of 6 materials used for veneer restorations by assessing their translucency parameters (TPs), contrast ratios (CRs), and potential to mask dark tooth colors.Ten square- or disk-shaped specimens (0.5-mm thickness, shade A2) were fabricated from Vitablocks Mark II (VMII; Vita Zahnfabrik), IPS e.max CAD LT (EMXC LT; Ivoclar Vivadent AG), IPS e.max CAD HT (EMXC HT; Ivoclar Vivadent AG), IPS Empress CAD LT (EMP LT; Ivoclar Vivadent AG), IPS e.max Press LT (EMXP LT; Ivoclar Vivadent AG), and CZR (CZR; Kuraray Noritake Dental Inc). Their luminance (Y) values over black and over white tiles were measured, followed by their color (CIELab) over black tiles and white tiles and shaded A2 (control group), A3.5, A4, and B4 acrylic resin blocks. All measurements were performed using a spectrophotometer in 2 different areas on each specimen. Then CRs, TPs, and color differences (over shaded backgrounds) were determined. Data were subjected to 1-way and 2-way ANOVA (α=.05) for analysis.Mean CR values of EMXP LT were significantly higher than those of the other tested materials, whereas VMII and EMXC HT had the lowest values (P<.001). Mean TP values over black and over white backgrounds of VMII and EMXC HT were significantly higher than those of the other tested materials, while EMXP LT and EMXC LT revealed the lowest values (P<.001). Background shade A4 displayed the highest mean effect (expressed in ΔE* values) on the color of the ceramic materials, whereas shade B4 demonstrated the lowest mean background effect (P<.001).Significant differences in translucency among the tested ceramics were revealed (P<.001). The EMXC LT and EMXP LT groups were the least translucent under the conditions of this study (P<.001). All tested ceramics exhibited poor masking properties against the A4 background. The color differences of most tested ceramics were more acceptable when tested against the B4 background (ΔE*≤3.3).