Method: Thirty HSDM 2nd year dental students and thirty dentists performed conventional and digital implant impressions on a customized model with a single implant. For the student group, the efficiency of both impression techniques was evaluated by measuring the preparation, working, and retake/scan time (m/s) and the number of retakes. Participants’ perception on difficulty, preference, effectiveness and proficiency was accessed with a visual analogue scale and multiple questionnaires.
Result: Mean treatment time (m/s) was of 24:42 for conventional and 12:29 for digital impressions (P <0.001). Each individually measured preparation, working and retake/scan time were all statistically different (P<0.05). On VAS scale (0 to100), the student group scored a mean difficulty level of 43.12 for conventional and 30.63 for digital impression (P= 0.003). For the dentist group, a mean difficulty level was not statistically different. When compared between the groups, the difficulty only in the conventional impression was statistically different. Sixty percent (students) vs. 33% (dentists) preferred the digital impression, 7% vs. 37% for the conventional impression technique and 33% vs. 30% preferred either technique.
Conclusion: The digital impression was more efficient than the conventional impression based not only on amount of time consumed but also on participants’ perception. Digital impressions allows for additional re-scans without the need of repeating entirely the impression technique. Conventional impression would require more experience to achieve the same level of proficiency than digital impressions. This study yielded initial evidence that the digital impression can be successfully applied to the impression for implant restoration based on efficiency and participants’ perception. The assessment of implant impressions accuracy in producing a working model, clinical comparison of efficiency and accuracy of both impression techniques are under current investigation.
Keywords: Implantology, Prosthodontics, Technology and digital impression
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