Am J Orthod Dentofacial Orthop 2016;149:287-94

Dimensional accuracy of digital dental models from cone-beam computed tomography scans of alginate impressions according to time elapsed after the impressions

Our objective was to investigate the dimensional accuracy of digital dental models obtained from the cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT) scans of alginate impressions according to the time elapsed after the impressions were taken. Methods: Alginate impressions were obtained of 20 adults using 2 alginate materials: Alginoplast (Heraeus Kulzer, Hanau, Germany) and Cavex (Cavex Holland, Haarlem, The Netherlands). These impressions were stored in wet conditions and scanned by CBCT immediately after impression-taking and after storage times of 12, 24, 36, 48, 60, and 72 hours. After reconstruction of the 3-dimensional digital dental models, the models were measured, and the data were analyzed to determine the dimensional changes according to the time elapsed. The changes within the measurement error were regarded as clinically acceptable in this study. Results: The measurement errors ranged from 0.27 to 0.29 mm in the digital dental models obtained from CBCT scans of the alginate impressions. All measurements showed decreasing accuracy with greater elapsed time after the impressions were taken. Changes above the measurement error occurred at 24 and 36 hours for Cavex and Alginoplast, respectively. Conclusions: Digital dental models can be obtained from CBCT scans of alginate impressions without sending them to a remote laboratory. However, the impressions need to be scanned within 24 hours; otherwise, dimensional changes lead to errors that exceed the error of measurement. (Am J Orthod Dentofacial Orthop 2016;149:287-94)

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