Comparison of accuracy and reproducibility of casts made by digital and conventional methods

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Abstract

Statement of problem.

Little peer-reviewed information is available regarding the accuracy and reproducibility of digitally fabricated casts compared to conventional nondigital methods.

Purpose.

The purpose of this in vitro study was to compare the accuracy and reproducibility of a digital impression and cast fabrication with a conventional impression and cast fabrication.

Material and methods.

Conventional impressions were made via a 1-step single viscosity technique with vinyl siloxanether material of a typodont master model, and conventional casts were cast from dental stone. Digital impressions were obtained with a digital scanner, and digital stereolithographic models were printed. The typodont and fabricated casts were digitized with a structured light scanner and saved in surface tessellation language (STL) format. All STL records were superimposed via a best-fit method. The digital impression and cast fabrication method was compared with the conventional impression and cast fabrication method for discrepancy, accuracy, and reproducibility. The Levene test was used to determine equality of variances, and a 1-way ANOVA was conducted to assess the overall statistical significance of differences among the groups (n=5, α=.05).

Results.

No significant statistical difference was found between the digital cast and conventional casts in the internal area or finish line area (P>.05). In addition, there was no statistically significant difference between these 2 techniques for a fixed dental prosthesis or single crown (P>.05). However, statistically significant differences were observed for overall areas of the casts in terms of accuracy (P<.01) and reproducibility (P<.001). Digital impression and cast fabrication were less accurate and reproducible than conventional impression and cast fabrication methods.

Conclusions.

No statistically significant difference was found between the digital cast and conventional cast groups in the internal and finish line areas. However, in terms of the reproducibility and accuracy of the entire cast area, the conventional cast was significantly better than the digital cast.

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