When teeth are endodontically treated, a cuspal coverage restoration, such as a full crown, is used to mitigate the risk of a catastrophic fracture. If the remaining healthy tooth structure is too limited to support such a crown, a post and core is needed to support the restoration. In this process, clinicians are now able to use intra-oral scanners to digitally record tooth anatomy to fabricate crowns via computer-aided design and computer-aided manufactured (CAD/CAM). This digital workflow can improve the speed and efficiency of treatment while reducing costs over conventional methods, but additional data on the precision and accuracy of intra-oral scanning for CAD/CAM crowns is needed.
Aaron Cho, chair and associate professor of prosthodontics at the University of Iowa, and An Yi Ma, visiting assistant professor in oral pathology, radiology, and medicine at Iowa, are conducting a pilot study using 3D printed teeth that will test the precision and accuracy of intra-oral scanners as they take direct impressions for the purposes of placing a post.
Based on their findings, the team hopes to follow up on the research by using real teeth in an in vivo experiment. The aim of which is to clarify and define the efficacy and limitations of intra-oral scanner use in creating post space impressions.
The study is supported by the University of Iowa College of Dentistry’s Clinical/Dental Education Research Initiative Support Program (CRISP). This program is intended to provide support for faculty who have a specific clinical (or dental education) research question.