Clinical Oral Investigations

, Volume 17, Issue 4, pp 1201–1208 | Cite as

Accuracy of digital models obtained by direct and indirect data capturing

  • Jan-Frederik GüthEmail author
  • Christine Keul
  • Michael Stimmelmayr
  • Florian Beuer
  • Daniel Edelhoff
Original Article



With direct and indirect digitalisation, two access points to CAD/CAM-generated restorations are available. The aim of this study was to compare the accuracy of the single steps of both approaches by comparing construction datasets using a new methodology.

Material and method

Twelve test datasets were generated in vitro (1) with the Lava Chairside Oral Scanner (COS) (2) by digitizing polyether impressions (IMP) and (3) by scanning the referring gypsum cast by the Lava Scan ST laboratory scanner (ST) at a time. Using an inspection software, these datasets were superimposed by a best fit algorithm with the reference dataset (REF), gained from industrial computed tomography, and divergences were analysed.


On the basis of average positive and negative deviations between test- and REF datasets, it could be shown that direct digitalisation accomplished the most accurate results (COS, 17 μm/−13 μm; SD ± 19 μm), followed by digitized polyether impression (IMP, 23 μm/−22 μm; SD ± 31 μm) and indirect digitalisation (ST, 36 μm/−35 μm; SD ± 52 μm). The mean absolute values of Euclidean distances showed the least values for COS (15 μm; SD ± 6 μm), followed by IMP (23 μm; SD ± 9 μm) and ST (36 μm; SD ± 7 μm). The mean negative and mean absolute values of all groups were significantly different. Comparing the mean positive values of the groups, IMP and COS (p = 0.082) showed no significant difference, whereas ST and COS, and ST and IMP exhibited statistically significant differences.


Within the limitations of this in vitro study, the direct digitalisation with Lava C.O.S. showed statistically significantly higher accuracy compared to the conventional procedure of impression taking and indirect digitalisation.

Clinical relevance

Within the limitations of this study, the method of direct digitalisation seems to have the potential to improve the accuracy of impressions for four-unit FDPs.


Intraoral scanner Accuracy Indirect data capturing Direct data capturing Matching STL 



The authors like to thank Mr. Michael Krumm from Development Center X-ray Technology EZRT of Fraunhofer IIS in Fürth for conducting the CT measurements, postprocessing and the support during this study.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jan-Frederik Güth
    • 1
    Email author
  • Christine Keul
    • 1
  • Michael Stimmelmayr
    • 1
  • Florian Beuer
    • 1
  • Daniel Edelhoff
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ProsthodonticsDental School of the Ludwig-Maximilians University MunichMunichGermany

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