Digital versus conventional impressions for full-coverage restorations: A systematic review and meta-analysis

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29 Scopus citations


Background: The primary objective of this systematic review was to investigate the survival of full-coverage restorations fabricated by using digital impressions (DIs) versus that of those fabricated by using conventional impressions. The authors also compared secondary outcomes of marginal and internal fit and occlusal and interproximal contacts. Types of Studies Reviewed: The authors conducted a systematic literature search in multiple databases to identify clinical trials with no restrictions by publication type, date, or language. The authors assessed study-level risk of bias and outcome-level strength of evidence. The authors performed a meta-analysis by using a random-effects model. Results: Ten studies met the inclusion criteria. The authors identified no studies in which the investigators compared the impression techniques with respect to survival of full-coverage restorations. Mean differences for marginal gap and internal gap were −9.0 micrometers (95% confidence interval, −18.9 to 0.9) and −15.6 μm (95% confidence interval, −42.6 to 11.4), respectively. Studies assessing internal gap were substantially heterogeneous (I 2 = 72%; P =.003). Conclusions and Practical Implications: Research is lacking to draw robust conclusions about the relative benefits of DIs in terms of restoration survival. Low-quality evidence for marginal fit and internal fit suggested similar performance for both techniques. Evidence quality for interproximal contact and occlusal contact was very low and insufficient to draw any conclusions regarding how the impression techniques compared. Given the uncertainty of the evidence, results should be interpreted with caution. With increasing popularity and adoption of digital scanners by dentists, pragmatic practice-based trials involving standardized, patient-centered outcomes may improve confidence in the comparative effectiveness of DIs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)139-147.e1
JournalThe Journal of the American Dental Association
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 American Dental Association


  • Crowns survival
  • internal fit
  • marginal adaptation
  • meta-analysis
  • systematic review


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