INTRODUCTION: The use of Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) as a non-invasive and high precision quantitative information providing tool has been well established by researches within the last decade. The marginal discrepancy values can be scrutinized in optical biopsy made in three dimensional (3D) micro millimetre scale and reveal detailed qualitative and quantitative information of soft and hard tissues. OCT-based high resolution 3D images can provide a significant impact on finding recurrent caries, restorative failure, analysing the precision of crown preparation, and prosthetic elements marginal adaptation error with the gingiva and dental hard tissues. During the CAD/CAM process of prosthodontic restorations, the circumvent of any error is important for the practitioner and the technician to reduce waste of time and material. Additionally, OCT images help to achieve a new or semi-skilled practitioner to analyse their crown preparation works and help to develop their skills faster than in a conventional way. The aim of this study is to highlight the advantages of OCT in high precision prosthodontic restorations.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: 25 preparations of frontal and lateral teeth were performed for 7 different patients. The impressions of the prosthetic fields were obtained both using a conventional optoelectronic system (Apolo Di, Syrona) and a Spectral Domain using OCT (Dental prototype, working at 860 nm). For the conventional impression technique the preparation margins were been prelevated by gingival impregnated cords. No specific treatments were performed by the OCT impression technique.
RESULTS: The scanning performed by conventional optoelectronic system proved to be quick and accurate in terms of impression technology. The results were represented by 3D virtual models obtained after the scanning procedure was completed. In order to obtain a good optical impression a gingival retraction cord was inserted between the prepared tooth and the gingival tissue for a better elevation of the tooth cervical margin preparation. Spectral OCT was enforced in order to observe the quality but also the advantages coming from this technology. No special preparation was performed for this operation.
CONCLUSION: Considering these aspects, OCT could be used as a valuable tool for dental impression technology, being non-invasive but also non-destructive on the marginal gingival tissue, in comparison with conventional optoelectronic technology where the gingival retraction cord is still mandatory.