Nondestructive, in vitro quantification of crown margins

Christina A. Mitchell, Maria R. Pintado, William H. Douglas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


Statement of problem. It is important that artificial crowns fit the prepared tooth accurately, as marginal deficiencies are predisposed to plaque accumulation and lead to increased risk of periodontal disease. Various methods of evaluation for marginal fit are described in the literature, but most approaches are limited by destructive methods of assessment and/or small points of measurement. Purpose. This study compared, in vitro, the marginal fit of 4 types of complete crowns on human premolar teeth with the use of nondestructive profilometry. This method determined whether fit was influenced by type of crown or surface morphology of the tooth, namely, grooved or ungrooved surfaces. Material and methods. Four groups of specimens were prepared for complete crowns: group BA, bonding alloy with chamfer finish line; group G, gold alloy with chamfer finish line; group PC, porcelain with a chamfer finish line; and group PS, porcelain with a shoulder finish line. Two profiles of grooved mesial and ungrooved distal surfaces of the teeth were performed: (1) teeth prepared for each type of crown and (2) teeth with crowns seated but not cemented. Marginal fit (absolute marginal discrepancy) from the finish line edge of the tooth preparations to crown edges (CE) and leading edges (LE) of crowns were measured. Results. A 2-way analysis of variance for crown type and tooth surface morphology revealed significant differences between crown types for all measurement parameters, except vertical LE. The effect of surface morphology was not significant, except for vertical LE (P<.05). For all parameters, except vertical LE, the ranking of marginal fit discrepancies from greatest to least was as follows: group PC, G, BA, and PS. For vertical LE distances, the ranking was PS, BA, G, and PC (P<.05). Conclusion. Profilometry was used as a nondestructive, accurate method of evaluating the absolute marginal fit of different types of crowns. Marginal fits varied continuously around the circumference of each crown and made clinical assessment of fit accuracy subjective and arduous.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)575-584
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Prosthetic Dentistry
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2001


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