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Volume 29 , Issue 5
September/October 2016

Pages 496–502


In Vivo Color Relationships Between the Maxillary Central Incisors and Canines as a Function of Age

Marie Elena Falcone, DMD, MBE/J. Robert Kelly, DDS, MS, DMedSc/Patchanee Rungruanganut, DDS, DMedSc


PMID: 27611756
DOI: 10.11607/ijp.4826

Purpose: It has long been taught that the hue of a patient can be taken from the canine and applied to other anterior teeth at a lower chroma. This concept does not appear to derive from published work. This study examined color relationships between in vivo maxillary central incisors and canines as a function of age. Materials and Methods: The L*a*b* values and VITA Classical shades of the maxillary central incisor and canine of 62 subjects were determined using a handheld spectrophotometer. Linear regression analysis and t tests were used to describe the relationships of the L*a*b* values of these teeth within each patient and as a function of age. Results: Linear regression demonstrated a significant decrease in ΔE with age (P = .056). Patient age was greater when ΔE (central–canine) > 3.3 (average age = 38.8 years) than when ΔE < 3.3 (average age = 58.8 years) (t test; P = .19). ΔC decreases significantly with age (P < .001). ΔH demonstrated a trend to decrease as a function of age (P = .2). ΔL remained the same over time (P = .21). Changes with age were due to central incisor differences, while the canine remained constant. Conclusion: ΔE (incisor-canine) significantly decreases with age; mostly due to ΔC. The majority of changes for all three color coordinates are due to alterations in the central incisor. The majority of the patients in this study were found to have a different shade family (VITA Classical) for the central incisor and canine.


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