Impact of digital impression techniques on the adaption of ceramic partial crowns in vitro

Available online 6 February 2014



To investigate the effects digital impression procedures can have on the three-dimensional fit of ceramic partial crowns in vitro.


An acrylic model of a mandibular first molar was prepared to receive a partial coverage all-ceramic crown (mesio-occlusal-distal inlay preparation with reduction of all cusps and rounded shoulder finish line of buccal wall). Digital impressions were taken using iTero (ITE), cara TRIOS (TRI), CEREC AC with Bluecam (CBC), and Lava COS (COS) systems, before restorations were designed and machined from lithium disilicate blanks. Both the preparation and the restorations were digitized using an optical reference-scanner. Data were entered into quality inspection software, which superimposed the records (best-fit-algorithm), calculated fit-discrepancies for every pixel, and colour-coded the results to aid visualization. Furthermore, mean quadratic deviations (RMS) were computed and analysed statistically with a 1-way ANOVA. Scheffé’s procedure was applied for multiple comparisons (n = 5, α=0.05).


Mean marginal (internal) discrepancies were: ITE 90 (92) μm, TRI 128 (106) μm, CBC 146 (84) μm, and COS 109 (93) μm. Differences among impression systems were statistically significant at p < 0.001 (p = 0.039). Qualitatively, partial crowns were undersized especially around cusp tips or the occluso-approximal isthmus. By contrast, potential high-spots could be detected along the preparation finishline and at central occlusal boxes.


Marginal and internal fit of milled lithium disilicate partial crowns depended on the employed digital impression technique.
Clinical Significance. The investigated digital impression procedures demonstrated significant fit discrepancies. However, all fabricated restorations showed acceptable marginal and int


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