Marginal adaptation and CAD-CAM technology: A systematic review of restorative material and fabrication techniques

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Statement of problem:

The comparative assessment of computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing (CAD-CAM) technology and other fabrication techniques pertaining to marginal adaptation should be documented. Limited evidence exists on the effect of restorative material on the performance of a CAD-CAM system relative to marginal adaptation.


The purpose of this systematic review was to investigate whether the marginal adaptation of CAD-CAM single crowns, fixed dental prostheses, and implant-retained fixed dental prostheses or their infrastructures differs from that obtained by other fabrication techniques using a similar restorative material and whether it depends on the type of restorative material.

Material and methods:

An electronic search of English-language literature published between January 1, 2000, and June 30, 2016, was conducted of the Medline/PubMed database.


Of the 55 included comparative studies, 28 compared CAD-CAM technology with conventional fabrication techniques, 12 contrasted CAD-CAM technology and copy milling, 4 compared CAD-CAM milling with direct metal laser sintering (DMLS), and 22 investigated the performance of a CAD-CAM system regarding marginal adaptation in restorations/infrastructures produced with different restorative materials.


Most of the CAD-CAM restorations/infrastructures were within the clinically acceptable marginal discrepancy (MD) range. The performance of a CAD-CAM system relative to marginal adaptation is influenced by the restorative material. Compared with CAD-CAM, most of the heat-pressed lithium disilicate crowns displayed equal or smaller MD values. Slip-casting crowns exhibited similar or better marginal accuracy than those fabricated with CAD-CAM. Cobalt-chromium and titanium implant infrastructures produced using a CAD-CAM system elicited smaller MD values than zirconia. The majority of cobalt-chromium restorations/infrastructures produced by DMLS displayed better marginal accuracy than those fabricated with the casting technique. Compared with copy milling, the majority of zirconia restorations/infrastructures produced by CAD-CAM milling exhibited better marginal adaptation. No clear conclusions can be drawn about the superiority of CAD-CAM milling over the casting technique and DMLS regarding marginal adaptation.

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