Comparison of treatment outcomes in digital and conventional complete removable dental prosthesis fabrications in a predoctoral setting

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Statement of problem.

Scientific evidence is lacking regarding the clinical effectiveness of digital complete removable dental prostheses (CRDP).


This prospective clinical study was conducted to compare clinical treatment outcomes, patient satisfaction, and dental student preferences for digitally and conventionally processed CRDP in a predoctoral setting.

Material and methods.

This clinical study rated and compared CRDP fabricated by predoctoral students, using a 2-appointment digital prosthesis fabrication process as opposed to the conventional 5-appointment process. Fifteen completely edentulous patients were treated in the predoctoral clinic at Loma Linda University School of Dentistry. Fifteen predoctoral (third- and fourth-year) dental students fabricated 2 sets of maxillary and mandibular CRDP for each patient. Each patient received 1 conventional set and 1 digital (AvaDent) set of CRDP. Faculty and patient ratings, patient and student preferences, and perceptions of the conventional versus digital prostheses were recorded and analyzed. The average treatment time for the fabrication of each type of prostheses was analyzed.


Significantly higher average scores were observed for digital dentures than for conventional dentures according to criteria evaluated by faculty (P=.007). Patients reported significantly higher overall average satisfaction scores with digital dentures (P=.001). Patients preferred the digital dentures (P<.01). Significantly higher scores were observed for the retention of the digital maxillary complete denture (P=.001) compared with that for the digital mandibular and conventional complete dentures. Students preferred digital prostheses compared with conventional prostheses (P<.05). The conventional process required significantly more clinical time for each patient than with the digital process of fabrication (P<.01).


The digital process proved to be an equally effective and more time-efficient option than the conventional process of prosthesis fabrication in the predoctoral program. The digital denture process was preferred and effectively used by predoctoral dental students under faculty supervision.

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