Color and contrast ratio of resin composites for whitened teeth

Juliana da Costa, Marcos Vargas, Edward J. Swift, Eric Anderson, Stephanie Ritter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Objectives: The purpose of this study was to determine the optical properties, color and contrast ratio (CR) of commercially available resin composites marketed for the restoration of whitened teeth. Methods: Twenty-six resin composites designed for restoration of whitened teeth and four shade B1 (control) were evaluated. Five resin composite disks (d = 12 mm, h = 1.54 mm) were fabricated for each shade of composite and were stored in water at 37 °C for at least 24 h. A colorimeter was used to measure specimen color over both white and black backgrounds. CIELAB and CIExyY color spaces were used. The CIELAB color notation system provides values for L*a*b*. The CIExyY system provides lightness and chromaticity values, where Y represents lightness and xy chromaticity. The contrast ratio (CR) was assessed using, CIE xyY, of the specimens against black (Yb) and white (Yw) backgrounds, with CR = Yb/Yw. The data for L*, a*, b* and CR were analyzed by one-way ANOVA, Tukey's test, and the correlation L* and CR was analyzed by Pearson correlation test (α = 0.05). Results: Significantly different L*, a*, b* values and CR were observed. Premise XL2 had the highest L* and CR values and Vit-l-escence PS had the lowest. Vit-l-escence PS had the highest a* value and Point 4XL2 had the lowest, Premise XL1 had the highest b* value and Supreme WB the lowest. The L* and CR correlation was positive and statistically significant. Conclusions: Composites designated for whitened teeth have different levels of color and contrast ratio. Awareness of the optical properties of the composites allows the operator to choose the appropriate materials to mimic the remaining tooth structure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e27-e33
JournalJournal of Dentistry
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
StatePublished - 2009


  • Composite color
  • Lightness
  • Opacity
  • Resin composite
  • Translucency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dentistry(all)


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