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Dent Mater. 1997 May;13(3):179-85.

Color distribution of three regions of extracted human teeth.

Author information

  • 1University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA. wjobrien@umich.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

Knowledge of human tooth color and its distribution are critical to the understanding of shade matching in esthetic dentistry. The color of human teeth shows a gradation from the gingival to the incisal region. There have been many reports in the literature on the distribution of color in teeth, but not in the CIE 1976 L*a*b* system. This study was conducted to determine the color distribution in three regions in a sample of human teeth and express the results in Munsell notation, CIE 1976 L*a*b* and CIE delta E* color differences. The hypothesis of this research was that it is possible to detect significant differences in the color parameters of the three distinct regions in teeth.

METHODS:

All of the teeth used in this study were extracted, cleaned and stored in artificial saliva. Prior to measurement, the teeth were removed from the solution and mounted in a holder to ensure consistent measurements. Spectral data were collected using a GE recording spectrophotometer, CIE chromaticity coordinates calculated using CIE illuminant C and 1931 observer data, and conversions made to L*, a*, b* and Munsell notation. The results were analyzed by ANOVA and Scheffé's multiple comparisons test.

RESULTS:

The mean L*, a*, b*s were 72.6, 1.5, 18.4 for gingival, 72.4, 1.2, 16.2 for middle, and 71.4, 0.9, 12.8 for incisal. Average Munsell parameters were 1.2 Y 7.1/2.7 for gingival, 1.3 Y 7.1/2.4 for middle, and 1.4 Y 7.0/1.9 for incisal. The mean CIE delta E* between the gingival and incisal regions of the 95 teeth showed a clinically significant difference of 8.2.

SIGNIFICANCE:

The distribution of color was identified for three regions of the tooth. A statistical analysis determined that there are statistically significant color differences between the regions, and these differences are also clinically significant. This information is beneficial when esthetic restorations are required.

PMID:
9758972
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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