Accuracy of intraoral scanning in completely and partially edentulous maxillary and mandibular jaws: an in vitro analysis

Clin Oral Investig. 2021 Apr;25(4):1839-1847. doi: 10.1007/s00784-020-03486-z. Epub 2020 Aug 19.


Objectives: New generation intraoral scanners are promoted to be suitable for digital scans of long-span edentulous spaces and completely edentulous arches; however, the evidence is lacking. The current study evaluated the accuracy of intraoral scanning (IOS) in partially and completely edentulous arch models and analyzed the influence of operator experience on accuracy.

Materials and methods: Four different resin models (completely and partially edentulous maxilla and mandible) were scanned, using a new generation IOS device (n = 20 each). Ten scans of each model were performed by an IOS-experienced and an inexperienced operator. An industrial high-precision scanner was employed to obtain reference scans. IOS files of each model-operator combination, their respective reference scan files (n = 10 each; total = 80), as well as the IOS files from each model generated by the same operator, were superimposed (n = 45; total = 360) to calculate trueness and precision. An ANOVA for mixed models and post hoc t tests for mixed models were used to assess group-wise differences (α = 0.05).

Results: The median overall trueness and precision were 24.2 μm (IQR 20.7-27.4 μm) and 18.3 μm (IQR 14.4-22.1 μm), respectively. The scans of the inexperienced operator had significantly higher trueness in the edentulous mandibular model (p = 0.0001) and higher precision in the edentulous maxillary model (p = 0.0004).

Conclusion: The accuracy of IOS for partially and completely edentulous arches in in vitro settings was high. Experience with IOS had small influence on the accuracy of the scans.

Clinical relevance: IOS with the tested new generation intraoral scanner may be suitable for the fabrication of removable dentures regardless of clinician's experience in IOS.

Keywords: Accuracy; Digital impression; Intraoral scanning; Precision; Scan time; Trueness.

MeSH terms

  • Computer-Aided Design
  • Dental Impression Technique*
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional
  • Mandible / diagnostic imaging
  • Maxilla / diagnostic imaging
  • Models, Dental*