OBJECTIVE: To evaluate a novel methodology using industrial scanners as a reference, and assess in vivo accuracy of 3 intraoral scanners (IOS) and conventional impressions. Further, to evaluate IOS precision in vivo.
METHODS: Four reference-bodies were bonded to the buccal surfaces of upper premolars and incisors in five subjects. After three reference-scans, ATOS Core 80 (ATOS), subjects were scanned three times with three IOS systems: 3M True Definition (3M), CEREC Omnicam (OMNI) and Trios 3 (TRIOS). One conventional impression (IMPR) was taken, 3M Impregum Penta Soft, and poured models were digitized with laboratory scanner 3shape D1000 (D1000). Best-fit alignment of reference-bodies and 3D Compare Analysis was performed. Precision of ATOS and D1000 was assessed for quantitative evaluation and comparison. Accuracy of IOS and IMPR were analyzed using ATOS as reference. Precision of IOS was evaluated through intra-system comparison.
RESULTS: Precision of ATOS reference scanner (mean 0.6 μm) and D1000 (mean 0.5 μm) was high. Pairwise multiple comparisons of reference-bodies located in different tooth positions displayed a statistically significant difference of accuracy between two scanner-groups: 3M and TRIOS, over OMNI (p value range 0.0001 to 0.0006). IMPR did not show any statistically significant difference to IOS. However, deviations of IOS and IMPR were within a similar magnitude. No statistical difference was found for IOS precision.
CONCLUSION: The methodology can be used for assessing accuracy of IOS and IMPR in vivo in up to five units bilaterally from midline. 3M and TRIOS had a higher accuracy than OMNI. IMPR overlapped both groups.
CLINICAL SIGNIFICANCE: Intraoral scanners can be used as a replacement for conventional impressions when restoring up to ten units without extended edentulous spans.