Intraoral scan bodies in implant dentistry: A systematic review

Original Article


Statement of problem: Intraoral scan body (ISB) design is highly variable and its role in the digital workflow and accuracy of digital scans is not well understood.

Purpose: The purpose of this systematic review was to determine the relevant reports pertaining to ISBs with regard to design and accuracy and to describe their evolution and role in the digital dentistry workflow. Special attention was placed on their key features in relation to intraoral scanning technology and the digitization process.

Materials and methods: A MEDLINE/PubMed search was performed to identify relevant reports pertaining to ISB usage in dentistry. This search included but was not limited to scan body features and design, scan body accuracy, and scan body techniques and the role of ISBs in computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing (CAD-CAM) processes. Commercially available scan bodies were examined, and a patient situation was shown highlighting the use of ISBs in the digital workflow.

Results: Deficiencies in the reports were found regarding various scan body topics, including ISB features/design, accuracy, and the role of ISBs in CAD-CAM processes.

Conclusions: ISBs are complex implant-positioning-transfer devices that play an essential role in the digital workflow and fabrication of accurately fitting implant-supported restorations. With scanner technology rapidly evolving and becoming more widespread, future studies are needed and should be directed toward all parts of the digital workflow when using ISBs. By understanding the basic components of ISBs and how they relate to digital scanning and CAD-CAM technology, more emphasis may be placed on their importance and usage in the digital workflow to ensure accurate transfer of implant position to the virtual and analog definitive cast. Efforts should be made by clinicians to identify an optimal ISB design in relation to the specific intraoral scanning technology being used.

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