Accuracy of a system for creating 3D computer models of dental arches

R. DeLong, M. Heinzen, James S Hodges, C. C. Ko, W. H. Douglas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

105 Scopus citations


Three-dimensional imaging of dental tissues will have a major impact in dentistry if the images are accurate. The purpose of this study was to measure the accuracy and precision of a system for creating three-dimensional images of dental arches. Using vinyl polysiloxane impression materials and improved dental stone, we made 10 stone casts of a "dental" standard with known dimensions. The impressions and casts were scanned by means of a Comet 100 optical scanner. Custom software created three-dimensional images (computer models) from the scanned data. Accuracy was defined as the average of the absolute differences between the computer models and the standard. Precision was the standard deviation of accuracy over 10 repeated measures. Software processing improved the accuracy of the scanner data. Accuracy ± precision for the casts and impressions was 0.024 ± 0.002 mm and 0.013 ± 0.003 mm, respectively. The system produced computer models with sufficient accuracy for clinical application.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)438-442
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of dental research
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2003


  • Accuracy
  • Computers
  • Impressions
  • Precision
  • Stone replicas
  • Three-dimensional


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