Accuracy of 3-dimensional printed dental models reconstructed from digital intraoral impressions

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Abstract

Introduction:

A rapidly advancing digital technology in orthodontics is 3-dimensional (3D) modeling and printing, prompting a transition from a more traditional clinical workflow toward an almost exclusively digital format. There is limited literature on the accuracy of the 3D printed dental models. The aim of this study was to assess the accuracy of 2 types of 3D printing techniques.

Methods:

Digital and alginate impressions of the oral environment were collected from 30 patients. Subsequently, digital impressions were used to print 3D models using digital light processing (DLP) and polyjet printing techniques, and alginate impressions were poured up in stone. Measurements for the 3 model types (digital, DLP, and polyjet) were compared with the stone models. Tooth measurements (first molar to first molar) included mesiodistal (crown width) and incisal/occlusal-gingival (crown height). Arch measurements included arch depth and intercanine and intermolar widths. Intraobserver reliability of the repeated measurement error was assessed using intraclass correlation coefficients.

Results:

The intraclass correlation coefficients were high for all recorded measurements, indicating that all measurements on all model types were highly reproducible. There were high degrees of agreement between all sets of models and all measurements, with the exception of the crown height measurements between the stone and DLP models, where the mean difference was statistically significant.

Conclusions:

Both the DLP and polyjet printers produced clinically acceptable models and should be considered viable options for clinical application.

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