Digital Study Models proved to be digital replacement of physical study models

Assessment of the accuracy of a three-dimensional imaging system for archiving dental study models

A. Bell1, A. F. Ayoub1 and P. Siebert2
1 Glasgow Dental Hospital and School, UK
2 University of Glasgow, UK

Professor A. F. Ayoub, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Head of Biotechnology and Craniofacial Research Group, Glasgow Dental Hospital and School, 378 Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow, G32 3JZ, Scotland, UK. E-mail: a.ayoub@dental.gla.ac.uk

Objective: The use of stone and plaster study models is an integral part of any dental practice and is required for research. Storage of study models is problematic in terms of space and cost. Ayoub et al.1 introduced a new technique based on the recent advances in stereophotogrammetry for archiving dental study models in a digital format. However, assessment of the accuracy of the generated three-dimensional (3D) models has not been carried out yet. It was the aim of this study to evaluate the accuracy of this technique.

Design: A comparative assessment between direct measurements of dental study models and measurements of computer generated 3D images of the same study models was performed.

Materials and methods: Twenty-two dental study models stored at Glasgow Dental Hospital and School for the purposes of research were used in the study. The models were captured in three dimensions using a photostereometric technique and stored in digital format.

Main Outcome Measures: Measurements were conducted directly on dental study models and on the computer generated 3D images using Euclidean Distance Matrix Analysis.2 The difference between the two sets of measurements was statistically analysed using a two-sample t-test.

Results: The average difference between measurements of dental casts and 3D images was 0.27 mm. This difference was within the range of operator errors (0.10–0.48 mm) and was not statistically significant (P < 0.05).

Conclusion: This study shows that it is possible to use 3D imaging to store dental study models for treatment monitoring and research with a satisfactory degree of accuracy.

Key words: dental casts, dimensional accuracy, study models, 3-D imaging

 

Direct link to the article is here: Journal of Orthodontics