In the recently published ‘Trueness and precision of intraoral scanners in the maxillary dental arch: an in vivo analysis,’ authors Jonas Winkler and Nikolaos Gkantidis from the Department of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics at the University of Bern in Switzerland are exploring ways to improve dental devices via 3D technology.
Intraoral 3D imaging is beginning to offer significant impacts within the dental field, especially because it allows for patients to receive oral cavity imprints that are without risk—as well as offering the following:
- Growth assessment
- Outcome evaluation
- Potential for use in 3D printing applications
“Digital dental models can overcome certain drawbacks associated with plaster models, such as patient discomfort and vulnerability. Being also advantageous in terms of cost, time, and space required, digital models will probably soon become the new standard in clinical practice,” explain the authors.
Intraoral scans are quickly becoming more useful in clinical settings; however, the researchers note that there is still a concerning amount of inaccuracy associated with such processes. Evaluating accuracy and precision is the goal of this study, and specifically in the fabrication of dental arches.
Eight male patients and four female patients participated, ranging in age from 27 to 52 years old. Three different scanners were used:
- CS 3600 (Carestream, Atlanta USA, Software CS Imaging Version 22.214.171.124.d2)
- TRIOS 3 (3Shape, Copenhagen, Denmark, Software Version 126.96.36.199)
- Artec Space Spider (Artec3D, Luxembourg, Software ArtecStudio 12 Professional Version 188.8.131.52)
“All scans were obtained by the first author who had more than two years of experience with regular clinical use of intraoral scanners,” explained the authors. “The same investigator performed all the steps of data generation following relevant training and under close supervision by the senior author.”
Irrelevant data like soft tissue were cropped out using Artec Studio 12 Professional software, and then the files were transferred for 3D printing. Final models were then superimposed in Viewbox 4, and the researchers used these settings:
- 100% estimated overlap of meshes
- Matching point to plane
- Exact nearest neighbor search
- 100%-point sampling
- Fifty iterations
The research team noted ‘significant difference’ between the TRIOS 3 and the CS 3600, with the first demonstrating superior precision in two out of three cases.
“No specific imprecision patterns were observed in the respective color maps, since the errors were distributed equally between the different areas of the arch. However, in certain cases the imprecision was higher than in others. There was also significant variation within the arches, with local imprecisions reaching in several cases relatively high values,” explained the researchers.
The Artec Spider was noted as ‘excellent’ in terms of scanning; in fact, it was chosen as a gold standard by the researchers.
“Both intraoral scanners showed comparable trueness in the upper buccal front region. Precision of the whole upper dental arch was also comparable when the repeated models were superimposed in the upper buccal front region. TRIOS 3 showed slightly higher precision (approximately 10 μm), when the whole model was used as superimposition reference, but it also showed the highest imprecision in a specific case,” concluded the researchers.
“However, in individual cases and in various, not spatially defined areas of the arch, higher imprecision was evident. In a small spatial scale, there is considerable variation in scanner performance between and within cases. Thus, the usage of intraoral scanners in highly demanding clinical applications, considering the whole arch, remains questionable.”
3D printing technology within the dental industry just continues to grow as some manufactures target mass production of products, improve fabrication of implants, continue to expand materials, and more.
What do you think of this news? Let us know your thoughts! Join the discussion of this and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com.[Source / Images: ‘Trueness and precision of intraoral scanners in the maxillary dental arch: an in vivo analysis’]
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