Clinical acceptance of single-unit crowns and its association with impression and tissue displacement techniques: Findings from the National Dental Practice-Based Research Network

J Prosthet Dent. 2020 May;123(5):701-709. doi: 10.1016/j.prosdent.2019.05.016. Epub 2019 Oct 4.


Statement of problem: The definitive impression for a single-unit crown involves many material and technique factors that may affect the success of the crown.

Purpose: The purpose of this prospective cohort study was to determine whether impression technique (tray selection), impression material, or tissue displacement technique are associated with the clinical acceptability of the crown (CAC).

Material and methods: Dentists in the National Dental Practice-Based Research Network documented details of the preparation, impression, and delivery of 3730 consecutive single-unit crowns. Mixed-effects logistic regression analyses were performed to evaluate associations between impression techniques and materials and the CAC and to assess associations between the presence of a subgingival margin with the displacement technique and the outcome variables CAC and number of impressions required.

Results: Of the 3730 crowns, 3589 (96.2%) were deemed clinically acceptable. A significant difference in the CAC was found with different impression techniques (P<.001) and different impression materials (P<.001). The percentage of the CAC for digital scans was 99.5%, 95.8% for dual-arch trays, 95.2% for quadrant trays, and 94.0% for complete-arch impression trays. Although no statistically significant difference was found in the CAC produced with dual-arch trays without both mesial and distal contacts, crowns fabricated under these conditions were less likely to achieve excellent occlusion. The percentage of the CAC for digital scans was 99.5%, 97.0% for polyether impressions, 95.5% for polyvinyl siloxane impressions, and 90.5% for other impression materials. Accounting for the location of the margin, the use of a dual-cord displacement technique was significantly associated with lower rates of requiring more than 1 impression (P=.015, odds ratio=1.43).

Conclusions: Dual-arch trays produced clinically acceptable crowns; however, if the prepared tooth was unbounded, the occlusal fit was more likely to have been compromised. Digital scans produced a slightly higher rate of CAC than conventional impression materials. The use of a dual-cord technique was associated with a decreased need to remake impressions when the margins were subgingival.

MeSH terms

  • Crowns
  • Dental Impression Materials
  • Dental Impression Technique*
  • Models, Dental
  • Prospective Studies
  • Tooth*


  • Dental Impression Materials