Clinical Oral Investigations

, Volume 20, Issue 7, pp 1487–1494 | Cite as

A new method for the evaluation of the accuracy of full-arch digital impressions in vitro

  • Jan-Frederik Güth
  • Daniel Edelhoff
  • Josef Schweiger
  • Christine Keul
Original Article



Introducing a new approach to evaluate the accuracy of digital impression methods for full-arch scans, avoiding “best-fit alignment.”

Materials and methods

A lower jaw model with a straight metal bar between the second molars of both quadrants was directly digitized using an intraoral scanner (True Definition, TRD, n = 12) and indirectly digitized (D810, CON, n = 12) after impression and plaster cast. A dataset of the bar from a coordinate measuring machine served as reference (REF). Datasets obtained from test groups were analyzed using inspection software to determine the aberration of the bar length, the linear shift (in X-, Y-, Z-axis) and the angle deviation (α overall, α coronal, α horizontal) caused by the digitalization method. Mann–Whitney U and unpaired two-sample Student’s t test were implemented to detect differences. The level of significance was set at 5 %.


Concerning the bar length, no significant differences were found between groups. In view of the linear shift, CON showed significantly higher values than TRD in Y-axis (p = 0.003) and in Z-axis (p = 0.040). Regarding the angle measurement, TRD showed significant smaller values than CON for α overall (p = 0.006) and for α coronal (p = 0.005).


This in vitro study shows that intraoral scanning systems seem to show the same or even higher accuracy than the conventional impression with subsequent indirect digitalization.

Clinical relevance

Intraoral scanners have proven excellent accuracy for single teeth or small spans. However, insufficient data is available about their accuracy for full-arch scans. The presented new approach seems to be suitable to precisely analyze differences in the accuracy of different digitalization methods without using best-fit alignment.


Full-arch scan Digital impression Intraoral scanner Accuracy CAD/CAM Digital workflow 



The authors thank 3M ESPE, Seefeld, Germany, for the support of the study and Createch medical, Mendaro, Spain, for conducting the CMM measurements.

Compliance with ethical standards

The present study does not contain clinical patient data.

Conflict of interest

The study was supported by a research grant from 3M Espe Company (Seefeld, Germany). The first and second authors declare that they receive personal fees from 3M ESPE, Seefeld, Germany, outside the submitted work for scientific lectures.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jan-Frederik Güth
    • 1
  • Daniel Edelhoff
    • 1
  • Josef Schweiger
    • 1
  • Christine Keul
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ProsthodonticsDental School of the Ludwig-Maximilians University MunichMunichGermany

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