Int J Oral Maxillofac Implants 28 (2013), No. 2 15. Mar. 2013
Purpose: Reuse of metal impression copings may be desirable for both economic and environmental reasons. When impression copings are reused, it is important to be assured that they are as accurate as new ones. The purpose of the present in vitro study was to assess the effect of multiple use of impression copings on the accuracy of direct and indirect implant transfer techniques.
Materials and Methods: An acrylic resin cast with five internal connection implants was fabricated. Forty medium-consistency polyether impressions of the cast with direct and indirect techniques were made using four sets (five each) of impression copings (square or conical). Impressions were poured with type IV dental stone. Then, the copings were subjected to a cleaning and sterilization process. The process was repeated 10 times with the same copings. Positional accuracy of the implant replica heads in x-, y-, and z-axes and also angular displacement (Δθ) were assessed using a coordinate measuring machine. These measurements were compared with the measurements made on the resin cast (control). Analysis of covariance for repeated measurements was used for the statistical analysis (α =.05).
Results: There were no significant differences among the following measurements: Δx, Δz, Δθ, and Δr (P > .05) in both techniques. Only Δy for the open tray impression technique was influenced during repeated use of impression copings (P = .02).
Conclusions: Within the limitations of this study, it could be concluded that impression copings can be successfully used, cleaned and sterilized up to 10 times without compromising the impression accuracy.