Clinical efficiency and patient preference of digital and conventional workflow for single implant crowns using immediate and regular digital impression: A meta-analysis

Clin Oral Implants Res. 2020 Aug;31(8):669-686. doi: 10.1111/clr.13604. Epub 2020 May 28.


Objective: To assess whether digital workflow gives better results than the conventional one in the single implant crowns, when analyzing the impression time, patient preference, time efficiency, and adjustment time.

Material and methods: MEDLINE, Embase, and Cochrane were searched and supplemented via hand search up to June 19, 2019. Only clinical trials assessing conventional versus digital workflows for single implant crowns were included. Impression time was evaluated using random effects meta-analysis, while patient preference, adjustment time, and time efficiency were reported descriptively.

Results: Among 1,334 publications identified, ten studies were included. The random effects models revealed statistically significant reduction in time in the digital impression group when compared to the conventional group by the mean meta-analysis (MD: 8.22 [95% CI: 5.48, 10.96]). Analysis from immediate digital impression versus conventional (MD: 3.84 [95% CI: 3.30, 4.39]) and regular digital impression versus conventional (MD:10.67 [95% CI: 5.70, 15.65]) showed statistically significant reduction in time on using the digital impression. Impression time in the digital process ranged between 6 min 39 s and 20 min, whereas for conventional, it was between 11.7 and 28.47 min. Patients showed greater preference for digital impression. Adjustment time in the digital process ranged between 1.96 and 14 min, whereas for conventional, it was between 3.02 and 12 min. Time efficiency in the digital process ranged between 36.8 and 185.4 min, whereas for conventional, it was between 55.6 and 332 min.

Conclusion: The digital workflow has demonstrated better clinical efficiency considering impression time, patient preference, and time efficiency. According to the adjustment time, different results were presented.

Keywords: conventional impression; digital impression; efficiency; immediate impression; patient preference; single implant.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Computer-Aided Design
  • Crowns
  • Dental Impression Technique
  • Dental Prosthesis Design*
  • Humans
  • Patient Preference
  • Workflow*