PURPOSE: System-specific scanning strategies have been shown to influence the accuracy of full-arch digital impressions. Special guided scanning procedures have been implemented for specific intraoral scanning systems with special regard to the digital orthodontic workflow. The aim of this study was to evaluate the precision of guided scanning procedures compared to conventional impression techniques in vivo.
METHOD: Two intraoral scanning systems with implemented full-arch guided scanning procedures (Cerec Omnicam Ortho; Ormco Lythos) were included along with one conventional impression technique with irreversible hydrocolloid material (alginate). Full-arch impressions were taken three times each from 5 participants (n = 15). Impressions were then compared within the test groups using a point-to-surface distance method after best-fit model matching (OraCheck). Precision was calculated using the (90-10%)/2 quantile and statistical analysis with one-way repeated measures ANOVA and post hoc Bonferroni test was performed.
RESULTS: The conventional impression technique with alginate showed the lowest precision for full-arch impressions with 162.2 ± 71.3 µm. Both guided scanning procedures performed statistically significantly better than the conventional impression technique (p < 0.05). Mean values for group Cerec Omnicam Ortho were 74.5 ± 39.2 µm and for group Ormco Lythos 91.4 ± 48.8 µm.
CONCLUSIONS: The in vivo precision of guided scanning procedures exceeds conventional impression techniques with the irreversible hydrocolloid material alginate. Guided scanning procedures may be highly promising for clinical applications, especially for digital orthodontic workflows.