Statement of problem
Traditional impressions for complete-arch restorations are complex and time-consuming, and they can be uncomfortable for the patient. New digital techniques such as stereophotogrammetry may mitigate this.
The purpose of this randomized controlled pilot clinical trial was to compare the patient and dentist satisfaction and work times of traditional impressions (control group) and digital impressions with stereophotogrammetry in complete-arch, implant-supported prostheses. Success rates, implant survival, marginal bone loss around the dental implants, and prosthesis survival were also analyzed.
Material and methods
This randomized controlled pilot clinical trial included 18 participants who received 131 dental implants. Implant impressions in the experimental group were made with stereophotogrammetry (8 participants with 66 implants), while traditional impressions were made in the control group (10 participants with 65 implants). Working times were measured in minutes starting from removal of the healing abutments to their replacement after the impression. Patient and dentist satisfaction was analyzed using a questionnaire with a visual analog scale, and implant success was assessed using the Buser success criteria. Prosthesis survival was defined as the presence of the prosthesis in the mouth, without screw loosening or fracture.
The work times were 15.6 (experimental group) and 20.5 minutes (control group) (P<.001). The patient satisfaction scores were 8.8 in the experimental and 7.9 in the control group (P=.02). The dentist satisfaction scores were 9.1 in the experimental group and 8.5 in the control group (P=.03). The implant success rate was 100% in both groups. Marginal bone loss was 0.6 ±0.5 mm (experimental group) and 0.6 ±0.2 mm (control group) (P=.72).
Digital impressions using stereophotogrammetry may be an alternative to traditional impressions. Patient and dentist satisfaction improved, and the work time was reduced in the experimental group. No statistically significant differences were found in terms of the implant success rate, implant survival, marginal bone loss, or prosthesis survival between the 2 groups.