Abstract

Tooth bleaching is becoming increasingly popular among patients and dentists since it is a relatively noninvasive approach for whitening and lightening teeth. Instruments and visual assessment with respect to commercial shade guides are currently used to evaluate tooth color. However, the association between these procedures is imprecise and the degree of color change after tooth bleaching is known to vary substantially between studies; there are currently no objective guidelines to predict the effectiveness of a tooth-bleaching treatment. We propose a new methodology based on fuzzy logic as a natural means of representing the imprecision present when modeling the color change produced by a tooth-bleaching treatment on the basis of a tooth’s initial chromatic values. This system has the advantage of producing a set of interpretable fuzzy rules that can subsequently be used by scientists and dental practitioners. The fuzzy system obtained has the special characteristic whereby the rule antecedents correspond to prebleaching shades of the well-known Vita commercial shade guide. Additionally, the rule consequents directly correspond with the expected CIELAB postbleaching values for each Vita shade, thanks to a modification of the system’s inference structure. Finally, the values of these postbleaching CIELAB coordinates have been associated with Vita shades by evaluating their respective mem bership functions, thereby approximating which posttreatment Vita shades are to be expected for each prebleaching shade.

© 2010 Optical Society of America

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