Fit of interim crowns fabricated using photopolymer-jetting 3D printing

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Abstract

Statement of problem.

The fit of interim crowns fabricated using 3-dimensional (3D) printing is unknown.

Purpose.

The purpose of this in vitro study was to evaluate the fit of interim crowns fabricated using photopolymer-jetting 3D printing and to compare it with that of milling and compression molding methods.

Material and methods.

Twelve study models were fabricated by making an impression of a metal master model of the mandibular first molar. On each study model, interim crowns (N=36) were fabricated using compression molding (molding group, n=12), milling (milling group, n=12), and 3D polymer-jetting methods. The crowns were prepared as follows: molding group, overimpression technique; milling group, a 5-axis dental milling machine; and polymer-jetting group using a 3D printer. The fit of interim crowns was evaluated in the proximal, marginal, internal axial, and internal occlusal regions by using the image-superimposition and silicone-replica techniques. The Mann-WhitneyUtest and Kruskal-Wallis tests were used to compare the results among groups (α=.05).

Results.

Compared with the molding group, the milling and polymer-jetting groups showed more accurate results in the proximal and marginal regions (P<.001). In the axial regions, even though the mean discrepancy was smallest in the molding group, the data showed large deviations. In the occlusal region, the polymer-jetting group was the most accurate, and compared with the other groups, the milling group showed larger internal discrepancies (P<.001).

Conclusions.

Polymer-jet 3D printing significantly enhanced the fit of interim crowns, particularly in the occlusal region.

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