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VOLUME 14 , ISSUE 6 ( November-December, 2013 ) > List of Articles


Direct Measurement of Stain Retention in Third Molars

R Steven Kurti, Berj Der Boghossian

Citation Information : Kurti RS, Boghossian BD. Direct Measurement of Stain Retention in Third Molars. J Contemp Dent Pract 2013; 14 (6):1060-1064.

DOI: 10.5005/jp-journals-10024-1451

Published Online: 01-04-2014

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2013; The Author(s).



To directly determine the mass of dye retained in teeth following exposure to aqueous solutions of Rhodamine B and to correlate tooth color modifications.

Materials and methods

Extracted third molars (25) were selected and sectioned at the cementoenamel junction for coronal staining. Pulp tissue was removed and teeth sonicated to remove debris. Teeth were kept in deionized water for 12 hours and subsequently weighed. They were then stained for 4 hours in 5 ml of Rhodamine B dye at two different concentrations. The samples were then subjected to two 8 hours rinses in deionized water. The tooth shade was recorded with a commercially available intraoral spectrophotometer (Vita Easyshade Compact, Vita Zahnfabrik, Bad Säckingen, Germany) at baseline (T1), after dye immersion (T2), and after water rinsing (T3). A standard absorption curve was then used to calculate the dye mass in the rinse solutions as well as the posttreatment stain solutions. All solution optical absorption curves were recorded using a laboratory research spectrophotometer (Cary 300, Agilent, USA). The mass of dye in each solution was then calculated from the standard curve relating optical absorption to aqueous dye concentration.


An average change in the CIE (a) values of 8.0 ± 0.3 were observed for concentrations of Rhodamine B similar to the optical appearance of wine or other darkly colored juices while an increase of 10× in concentration gave values too high to measure using a standard intraoral spectrophotometer. By measuring the optical absorbance of the staining solutions before and after the staining process, we were able to measure dye retention of 54 ± 26 micrograms per gram of tooth.


While no significant correlation could be found between the amount of stain retention in the dentition and the tooth shade due to the high uncertainties in the spectroscopic measurements, we were able to show that this method should admit such comparisons for future research.

Clinical significance

The development of a reliable chromophore infiltration model may provide standardized and reproducible results in evaluating tooth whitening efficacy.

How to cite this article

Kurtir Jr RS, Boghossian BD, Kwon SR. Direct Measurement of Stain Retention in Third Molars. J Contemp Dent Pract 2013;14(6):1060-1064.

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