Author(s): Lackovic KP, Wood RE
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Abstract The purpose of this study was to assess a possible colour shift in the root surfaces of adult human teeth and if so, whether this colour change is related to chronological age. Teeth extracted from persons of known age and gender were obtained from Ontario dental practitioners and grouped into five-year age ranges. Three experiments were undertaken: (1) to identify a possible difference in yellow colouration between the four surfaces of tooth roots (mesial, distal, lingual, and buccal), (2) to investigate the difference in yellow colouration of tooth roots between non-molar teeth and molar teeth and (3) to assess the correlation between the age of teeth and root colour saturation for yellow, magenta, cyan and black. The teeth in all investigations were scanned by a flat-bed digital colour scanner with a Kodak colour scale control and viewed on a colour computer monitor. In the first two experiments the yellow colour saturation of the root surfaces was measured at six points on each root using Photoshop 5.0 software. A significant difference was observed in the percentage yellow colour saturation between the mesial and the other three anatomical surfaces (p < 0.01), and between the root surfaces of non-molar and molar teeth (p < 0.01) (ANOVA with Bonferroni post-test). The authors then randomly assigned tooth surfaces to select an equivalent number of posterior and anterior teeth in the study, assessing the relationship between age and root colouration. Four points of colour measurement on 40 teeth (sample size permitting, see Table 1) for each known age and gender were assessed for colour saturation (cyan, magenta, yellow and black). The correlation of chronological age to colour saturation was linear for all colours, with correlation coefficients ranging from r = 0.81 to r = 0.94. The high correlation values strongly support the conclusion that chronological age is related to increased root colouration.
This article was published in J Forensic Odontostomatol
and referenced in Dentistry