Patient outcomes and procedure working time for digital versus conventional impressions: A systematic review

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Statement of problem.

Limited evidence is available comparing digital versus conventional impressions from the point of view of patient preference.


The purpose of this systematic review was to identify and summarize the available literature related to patient-centered outcomes for digital versus conventional impression techniques.

Material and methods.

The databases Medline, Cochrane, Science Direct, Scopus, and Embase were electronically searched and complemented by hand searches. All published papers available on the databases from 1955 to July 2016 were considered for title and abstract analysis.


A total of 2943 articles were initially identified through database searches, of which only 5 met the inclusion criteria for qualitative analysis. Four studies comparing patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) between conventional and digital impressions revealed that the digital technique was more comfortable and caused less anxiety and sensation of nausea. Only 1 study reported no difference between the techniques regardless of patient comfort. Two studies reported a shorter procedure for the conventional technique, whereas 3 studies reported a shorter procedure for the digital technique.


A lack of clinical studies addressing patient outcomes regarding digital prosthodontic treatments was observed among the included articles. However, current evidence suggests that patients are more likely to prefer the digital workflow than the conventional techniques.

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