Diagnostic applications of digital dental impressions: A systematic review of the literature

Student thesis: Master's ThesisMaster of Dental Science


Background: Digital scanners have been used for a number of years and are becoming more common in restorative dentistry. However, there is limited information about possible diagnostic application of digital impressions in dental and oral conditions.
Objectives: The objectives of this systematic review was to evaluate present literature for the applications and suitability of intraoral scanners for the diagnosis of hard and soft tissue changes and further to assess the potential benefits compared to traditional diagnostic methods.
Material and Method: A comprehensive electronic search was performed using Ovid MEDLINE® databases, EMBASE (via Ovid) and the Cochrane Library including the Cochrane Systematic Reviews Database and Cochrane Controlled Trials Register. Searches were complemented by a manual search.
Results: The results of the present literature review suggest that digital scanners may be a promising technique to measure soft and hard tissue change. However only two published studies in the dental literature have used intra-oral scanning as a diagnostic application. These studies were both of soft tissue changes. A comparison to conventional diagnostic techniques revealed that digital impressioning is a more objective and accurate method to assess changes in both soft and hard tissue.
Conclusion : The results of the present literature review suggest there is a need for further research into the role and application of this exciting technology for routine diagnosis of hard and soft tissue oral and dental pathologies.
Date of Award2015
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • King's College London
SupervisorRupert Austin (Supervisor)

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