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Study compares digital scanning and conventional impressions for single implant-supported prostheses

In the July 2022 issue of the Journal of Prosthetic Dentistry it included a very interesting study comparing digital scanning and conventional impressions on a single implant workflow. The study compared not only accuracy and fit of the resulting restorations but patient preferences for the two procedures as well.


30 patients needing a single implant supported restoration participated in the study. Both conventional impressions as well as digital impression were taken of each patient.

Two restorations were then manufactured based on the two impression methods and compared. Workflow time, accuracy and efficiency of the restorations were analyzed as well. Patients were then polled on their preferences of the two types of procedures.


As expected, digital impressions took “significantly less” time at 11 min 17 sec when compared with the conventional impressions, which took 14 min 10 sec total time according to the study.

The adjustment time for delivering the crowns was 3 min 47 sec for digital impressions and 4 min 21 sec for conventional impressions.

The study concluded that “the digital scanning technique was more efficient than the conventional impression technique for single implant-supported restorations.”

Two stand out outcomes

Two of the results from the study that we found to be most interesting were that 53.3% of the restorations chosen for final placement were fabricated from digital impressions versus 46.7% from conventional impressions.

This could be interpreted as fit based off a digital impression being superior to those made from conventional techniques.

The second result we found extremely interesting was that 89% of the patients preferred digital impressions to conventional. That is a huge majority and one, dentists should make note of.

While there exists many studies supporting patient preference for digital workflows, this study really drives home the fact. Mainly because this stat was just one of the findings in the study and not the main purpose of it.

The study by Sang J. Lee DMD MMSc, Faris Z. Jamjoom BDS MS, Thao Le DDS MMSc, Andreas Radics CDT, German O. Gallucci DMD, PhD, can be found in the article. Read article