The purpose of this review was to suggest practical criteria for the clinical translucency evaluation of direct esthetic restorative materials, and to review the translucency with these criteria. For the evaluation of reported translucency values, measuring instrument and method, specimen thickness, background color, and illumination should be scrutinized. Translucency parameter (TP) of 15 to 19 could be regarded as the translucency of 1 mm thick human enamel. Visual perceptibility threshold for translucency difference in contrast ratio (ΔCR) of 0.07 could be transformed into ΔTP value of 2. Translucency differences between direct and indirect resin composites were perceivable (ΔTP > 2). Universal and corresponding flowable resin composites did not show perceivable translucency differences in most products. Translucency differed significantly by the product within each shade group, and by the shade group within each product. Translucency of human enamel and perceptibility threshold for translucency difference may be used as criteria for the clinical evaluation of translucency of esthetic restorative materials.