Measuring the Complete-arch Distortion of an Optical Dental Impression

Ji Man Park, June Sung Shim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Digital workflows have actively been used to produce dental restorations or oral appliances since dentists started to make digital impressions by acquiring 3D images with an intraoral scanner. Because of the nature of scanning the oral cavity in the patient's mouth, the intraoral scanner is a handheld device with a small optical window, stitching together small data to complete the entire image. During the complete-arch impression procedure, a deformation of the impression body can occur and affect the fit of the restoration or appliance. In order to measure these distortions, a master specimen was designed and produced with a metal 3D printer. Designed reference geometries allow setting independent coordinate systems for each impression and measure x, y, and z displacements of the cylinder top circle center where the distortion of the impression can be evaluated. In order to evaluate the reliability of this method, the coordinate values of the cylinder are calculated and compared between the original computer-aided design (CAD) data and the reference data acquired with the industrial scanner. The coordinate differences between the two groups were mostly less than 50 µm, but the deviations were high due to the tolerance of 3D printing in the z coordinates of the obliquely designed cylinder on the molar. However, since the printed model sets a new standard, it does not affect the results of the test evaluation. The reproducibility of the reference scanner is 11.0 ± 1.8 µm. This test method can be used to identify and improve upon the intrinsic problems of an intraoral scanner or to establish a scanning strategy by measuring the degree of distortion at each part of the complete-arch digital impression.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere59261
JournalJournal of Visualized Experiments
Issue number147
Publication statusPublished - 2019 May

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by a grant of the Korea Health Technology R&D Project through the Korea Health Industry Development Institute (KHIDI), funded by the Ministry of Health & Welfare (grant number: HI18C0435).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Journal of Visualized Experiments.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)


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