Color relationships of natural anterior teeth: An In vivo study

Niger J Clin Pract. 2018 Jul;21(7):925-931. doi: 10.4103/njcp.njcp_361_17.


Objectives: To investigate the color relationships between the anterior teeth in vivo.

Materials and methods: A total of 640 volunteers (age: 18-22) participated in the study. The color measurements of left maxillary and mandibular central, lateral, and canine were performed using a colorimeter. Color differences were calculated according to the CIE L*a*b* (ΔE*) and CIEDE2000 (ΔE00*) system. The National Bureau of Standards (NBS) ratings were also evaluated. Statistical analyses were performed using two-way ANOVA and Fisher's exact test (P < 0.05).

Results: Significant differences were found between the L*, a*, b*, and ΔE* values (P < 0.05), except for mandibular central and lateral. ΔE* values were found between 1.5 ΔE* (mandibular central-mandibular lateral) and 8.1 ΔE* (maxillary central-maxillary canine). While the highest L* (80.5) and the least b* (15.1) values were obtained for mandibular central, the mean L* (73.6) and the mean b* values (21.3) were obtained for the maxillary canine. a* value was found to be highest for the mandibular lateral (1.1) and the least for the maxillary central (-0.2) teeth. NBS values were between 1.3 and 7.4 units, and only mandibular central and mandibular lateral teeth exhibited "almost the same" color values, while the other teeth exhibited "slightly different," "very different," or "remarkably different" color values.

Conclusion: Anterior maxillary and mandibular teeth exhibited "different" color values. Only mandibular incisors and mandibular laterals showed "almost the same" color. Canines were more dark/red/yellow for both mandible and maxilla. Centrals were more bright/green/yellow for maxilla and bright/green/blue for mandibular. Clinicians should select the color one by one for each tooth and be aware of their color relations for optimal esthetics.

Keywords: Color selection; esthetic; tooth.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Color*
  • Cuspid*
  • Esthetics, Dental*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incisor*
  • Male
  • Mandible
  • Maxilla
  • Young Adult