Journal Article

A novel method for testing the veridicality of dental colour assessments

Michael Knösel, Monika Reus, Albert Rosenberger and Dirk Ziebolz

in The European Journal of Orthodontics

Published on behalf of European Orthodontics Society

Volume 34, issue 1, pages 19-24
Published in print February 2012 | ISSN: 0141-5387
Published online February 2011 | e-ISSN: 1460-2210 | DOI:
A novel method for testing the veridicality of dental colour assessments

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The Commission Internationale de l’Eclairage (CIE) L*a*b* three-dimensional coordinates suggest strong correlations between the data of a* (red–green axis) and b* (blue–yellow axis), as both are located on the same plane in the model and should therefore show a strong dependency. In order to assess the veridicality of colour determinations, the null hypothesis of no significant changes in CIE-a*/b* coherences of dental colours following a colour or lightness change induced by external dental bleaching was tested.

Values from 231 extracted anterior teeth were assessed using the digital photographic CIELAB recalculation method. Teeth were then assigned to three groups (n = 77) with contrasting baseline CIE-L* values. Group A served as the control with no alteration in dental colour. The specimens in the two other groups were altered in colour or lightness employing treatment with either 15 per cent carbamide peroxide (group B) or 38 per cent hydrogen peroxide (group C). Pearson’s pairwise correlation coefficient of CIE-L*; a*, CIE-L*; b*, and CIE-a*; b* were calculated for assessments at baseline (T0) and after 2 (T1), 4 (T2), 12 (T3), and 24 (T4) weeks.

The correlations of a* and b* from T0 to T4, in relation to group A, were stable, with coefficients of 0.78→0.65→0.65→0.69→0.67. Bleaching-induced colour and lightness changes did not have a significant influence on the a*/b* coherences assessed. A distinctly weaker and inverse relationship was observed between L* and a* values and between L* and b* values in the groups, with correlation coefficients ranging from −0.54 to −0.12. Colour coherences detected at specific points in time were in agreement with theoretical CIE colour coherences. In order to compare the methodology of different colour analyses, the analysis of correlations between CIE-a* and -b* values is advocated as an additional routine test in future CIELAB studies.

Journal Article.  3598 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Restorative Dentistry and Orthodontics

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