Influence of implant reference on the scanning accuracy of complete arch implant scans captured by using a photogrammetry system

 Published:January 23, 2024DOI:


Statement of problem

Photogrammetry has been reported to be a reliable digital alternative for recording implant positions; however, the factors that may impact the accuracy of photogrammetry techniques remain unknown.


The purpose of this in vitro study was to assess the influence of the implant reference on the accuracy of complete arch implant scans acquired by using a photogrammetry system.

Material and methods

An edentulous cast with 6 implant abutment analogs (MultiUnit Abutment Plus Replica) was obtained and digitized by using a laboratory scanner (T710; Medit). A photogrammetry system (PIC System) was selected to obtain complete arch implant scans. An optical marker (PIC Transfer, HC MUA Metal; PIC Dental) was positioned on each implant abutment of the reference cast. Each optical marker code and position was determined in the photogrammetry software program. Three groups were created based on the implant reference selected before acquiring the photogrammetry scans: right first molar (IPR-3 group), left canine (IPR-11 group), and left first molar (IPR-14 group) (n=30). Euclidean linear and angular measurements were obtained on the digitized reference cast and used to compare the discrepancies with the same measurements obtained on each experimental scan. One-way ANOVA and the Tukey tests were used to analyze the trueness data. The Levene test was used to analyze the precision values (α=.05 for all tests).


One-way ANOVA revealed significant linear (P=.003) and angular (P=.009) trueness differences among the groups tested. Additionally, the Tukey test showed that the IPR-11 and IPR-14 groups had significantly different linear (P<.001) and angular trueness (P<.001). The Levene test showed no significant precision linear (P=.197) and angular (P=.235) discrepancies among the groups tested. The IPR-3 group obtained the highest trueness (P<.001) and precision (P<.001) values among the groups tested.


Implant reference impacted the accuracy of complete arch implant scans obtained by using the photogrammetry system tested. However, a trueness ±precision linear discrepancy of 6 ±3 µm and an angular discrepancy of 0.01 ±0.01 degrees were measured among the groups tested; therefore, the impact of the discrepancy measured should not be clinically significant.
Clinical Implications
The selection of the reference implant does not impact the accuracy of the photogrammetry system tested; however, marking the implant placed on the right and most posterior tooth location as the implant reference is recommended to maximize the accuracy of the photogrammetry system tested.