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The International Journal of Oral & Maxillofacial Implants



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Int J Oral Maxillofac Implants 32 (2017), No. 4     18. July 2017
Int J Oral Maxillofac Implants 32 (2017), No. 4  (18.07.2017)

Page 792-799, doi:10.11607/jomi.5431, PubMed:28618432

Accuracy of Digital vs Conventional Implant Impression Approach: A Three-Dimensional Comparative In Vitro Analysis
Basaki, Kinga / Alkumru, Hasan / De Souza, Grace / Finer, Yoav
Purpose: To assess the three-dimensional (3D) accuracy and clinical acceptability of implant definitive casts fabricated using a digital impression approach and to compare the results with those of a conventional impression method in a partially edentulous condition.
Materials and Methods: A mandibular reference model was fabricated with implants in the first premolar and molar positions to simulate a patient with bilateral posterior edentulism. Ten implant-level impressions per method were made using either an intraoral scanner with scanning abutments for the digital approach or an open-tray technique and polyvinylsiloxane material for the conventional approach. 3D analysis and comparison of implant location on resultant definitive casts were performed using laser scanner and quality control software. The inter-implant distances and interimplant angulations for each implant pair were measured for the reference model and for each definitive cast (n = 20 per group); these measurements were compared to calculate the magnitude of error in 3D for each definitive cast. The influence of implant angulation on definitive cast accuracy was evaluated for both digital and conventional approaches. Statistical analysis was performed using t test (α = .05) for implant position and angulation. Clinical qualitative assessment of accuracy was done via the assessment of the passivity of a master verification stent for each implant pair, and significance was analyzed using chi-square test (α = .05).
Results: A 3D error of implant positioning was observed for the two impression techniques vs the reference model, with mean ± standard deviation (SD) error of 116 ± 94 μm and 56 ± 29 μm for the digital and conventional approaches, respectively (P = .01). In contrast, the inter-implant angulation errors were not significantly different between the two techniques (P = .83). Implant angulation did not have a significant influence on definitive cast accuracy within either technique (P = .64). The verification stent demonstrated acceptable passive fit for 11 out of 20 casts and 18 out of 20 casts for the digital and conventional methods, respectively (P = .01).
Conclusion: Definitive casts fabricated using the digital impression approach were less accurate than those fabricated from the conventional impression approach for this simulated clinical scenario. A significant number of definitive casts generated by the digital technique did not meet clinically acceptable accuracy for the fabrication of a multiple implant-supported restoration.

Keywords: dental implants, dental impression techniques, digital impression, dimensional measurement accuracy, intraoral scanner, three-dimensional imaging