Effects of number of metal restorations and mandibular position during computed tomography imaging on accuracy of maxillofacial models

J Prosthodont Res. 2019 Apr;63(2):239-244. doi: 10.1016/j.jpor.2018.12.006. Epub 2019 Jan 15.


Purpose: Computed tomography (CT) imaging for three-dimensional (3D) printed models may improve the quality of surgical preoperative plans. Although metal objects can cause artifacts in CT images, integration of CT and digital dental arch imaging may solve this problem. The present study aimed to evaluate effects of the number of metal restorations and mandibular position during CT imaging on accuracy of reproduced models.

Methods: Stereolithography datasets from three sets of dental models having different numbers of metal restorations were obtained using a laboratory digitizing device (control) and CT equipment (nonintegrated data). CT scanning was performed under two conditions: intercuspal position (closed) and separated using paraffin wax (open). Nonintegrated data after metal artifact removal were separated into maxillary and mandibular dentition groups. The occlusal part of the control dentition and nonintegrated data were superimposed and integrated (integrated data). The root mean square (RMS) between the control and stereolithography data was calculated and analyzed with three-way analysis of variance and t-test with Bonferroni correction.

Results: Increasing numbers of metal restorations resulted in increase in metal artifacts and RMS values. Moreover, the RMS of the closed dataset was significantly greater than that of the open dataset because of the creation of artificial occlusal surfaces. The RMSs of the integrated datasets were significantly smaller than those of the nonintegrated datasets, except for the open model without metal restorations.

Conclusions: Accuracies of reproduced maxillary and mandibular models decreased with increasing numbers of metal restorations and in the closed mandibular position during CT scanning.

Keywords: Additive manufacturing; Computed tomography; Maxillofacial model; Maxillofacial surgery; Metal restoration.

MeSH terms

  • Artifacts
  • Dental Arch / diagnostic imaging*
  • Dental Materials*
  • Dental Models*
  • Dental Restoration, Permanent*
  • Humans
  • Mandible*
  • Metals*
  • Printing, Three-Dimensional
  • Radiography, Dental*
  • Surgery, Oral
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed*


  • Dental Materials
  • Metals