Estimating the color of maxillary central incisors based on age and gender

David Gozalo-Diaz, William M. Johnston, Alvin G. Wee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


Statement of problem: There is no scientific information regarding the selection of the color of teeth for edentulous patients. Purpose: The purpose of this study was to evaluate linear regression models that may be used to predict color parameters for central incisors of edentulous patients based on some characteristics of dentate subjects. Material and methods: A spectroradiometer and an external light source were set in a noncontacting 45/0 degree (45-degree illumination and 0-degree observer) optical configuration to measure the color of subjects' vital craniofacial structures (maxillary central incisor, attached gingiva, and facial skin). The subjects (n=120) were stratified into 5 age groups with 4 racial groups and balanced for gender. Linear first-order regression was used to determine the significant factors (α=.05) in the prediction model for each color direction of the color of the maxillary central incisor. Age, gender, and color of the other craniofacial structures were studied as potential predictors. Final predictions in each color direction were based only on the statistically significant factors, and then the color differences between observed and predicted CIELAB values for the central incisors were calculated and summarized. Results: The statistically significant predictors of age and gender accounted for 36% of the total variability in L*. The statistically significant predictor of age accounted for 16% of the total variability in a*. The statistically significant predictors of age and gender accounted for 21% of the variability in b*. The mean Δ (SD) between predicted and observed CIELAB values for the central incisor was 5.8 (3.2). Conclusions: Age and gender were found to be statistically significant determinants in predicting the natural color of central incisors. Although the precision of these predictions was less than the median color difference found for all pairs of teeth studied, and may be considered an acceptable precision, further study is needed to reduce this precision to the limit of detection. (J Prosthet Dent 2008;100:93-98).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)93-98
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Prosthetic Dentistry
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2008
Externally publishedYes


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