Purpose: Although several investigations of the fit of computer-aided design/computer-assisted manufactured implant restorations have been reported in the literature, very limited information is available on the accuracy of dental scanners for surface data acquisition. The objective of this research project was to investigate the accuracy and repeatability of a three-dimensional noncontact laser scanning system based on conoscopic holography recording the spatial orientation of an implant in vitro.
Materials and methods: One master cast containing five nonparallel implant replicas with scan abutments (implant position locator [IPL], Nobel Biocare) was repeatedly digitized by two commercially available dental scanners and an industrial highprecision coordinate measuring machine as a reference. Repeated measurements of the center point and vector analysis were applied to determine the accuracy and repeatability of IPL orientation. The Wilcoxon signed rank test modified for equivalence was applied to determine whether the systems were equally accurate based on given threshold limits of 0.010, 0.005, and 0.001 mm.
Results: All between-system tests identified significant differences, although most differences were very small in absolute terms. Tests for equivalence based on difference windows were exploratorily significant for 0.010 and 0.005 mm.
Conclusion: Conoscopic holography scan technology is a valid option to supplement dental touch-probe scanners for laboratory digitization of implant master casts.