STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
Complete dentures fabricated by computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing (CAD-CAM) techniques have become popular. The 2 principal CAD-CAM techniques, milling and rapid prototyping (3D printing), used in the fabrication of complete dentures have been reported to yield clinically acceptable results. However, clinical trials or in vitro studies that evaluated the accuracy of the 2 manufacturing techniques are lacking.
The purpose of this in vitro study was to compare the differences in trueness between the CAD-CAM milled and 3D-printed complete dentures.
MATERIAL AND METHODS
Two groups of identical maxillary complete dentures were fabricated. A 3D-printed denture group (3DPD) (n=10) and a milled denture group (MDG) (n=10) from a reference maxillary edentulous model. The intaglio surfaces of the fabricated complete dentures were scanned at baseline using a laboratory scanner. The complete dentures were then immersed in an artificial saliva solution for a period of 21 days, followed by a second scan (after immersion in saliva). A third scan (after the wet-dry cycle) was then made after 21 days, during which the complete dentures were maintained in the artificial saliva solution during the day and stored dry at night. A purpose-built 3D comparison software program was used to analyze the differences in the trueness of the complete dentures. The analyses were performed for the entire intaglio surface and specific regions of interest: posterior crest, palatal vault, posterior palatal seal area, tuberosity, anterior ridge, vestibular flange, and mid-palatal raphae. Independent t tests, ANOVA, and post hoc tests were used for statistical analyses (α=.05).
The trueness of the milled prostheses was significantly better than that of the rapid prototyping group with regard to the entire intaglio surface (P<.001), posterior crest (P<.001), palatal vault (P<.001), posterior palatal seal area (P<.001), tuberosity (P<.001), anterior ridge (baseline: P<.001; after immersion in saliva: P=.001; after the wet-dry cycle: P=.011), vestibular flange (P<.001), and mid-palatal raphae (P<.001).
The CAD-CAM, milled complete dentures, under the present manufacturing standards, were superior to the rapidly prototyped complete dentures in terms of trueness of the intaglio surfaces. However, further research is needed on the biomechanical, clinical, and patient-centered outcome measures to determine the true superiority of one technique over the other with regard to fabricating complete dentures by CAD-CAM techniques.