Journal of Prosthetic Dentistry

Marginal discrepancy of CAD-CAM complete-arch fixed implant-supported frameworks

Published:February 21, 2018DOI:


      Statement of problem

      Computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing (CAD-CAM) high-density polymers (HDPs) have recently been marketed for the fabrication of long-term interim implant-supported fixed prostheses. However, information regarding the precision of fit of CAD-CAM HDP implant-supported complete-arch screw-retained prostheses is scarce.


      The purpose of this in vitro study was to evaluate the marginal discrepancy of CAD-CAM HDP complete-arch implant-supported screw-retained fixed prosthesis frameworks and compare them with conventional titanium (Ti) and zirconia (Zir) frameworks.

      Material and methods

      A screw-retained complete-arch acrylic resin prototype with multiunit abutments was fabricated on a typodont model with 2 straight implants in the anterior region and 2 implants with a 30-degree distal tilt in the posterior region. A 3-dimensional (3D) laboratory laser scanner was used to digitize the typodont model with scan bodies and the resin prototype to generate a virtual 3D CAD framework. A CAM milling unit was used to fabricate 5 frameworks from HDP, Ti, and Zir blocks. The 1-screw test was performed by tightening the prosthetic screw in the maxillary left first molar abutment (terminal location) when the frameworks were on the typodont model, and the marginal discrepancy of frameworks was evaluated using an industrial computed tomographic scanner and a 3D volumetric software. The 3D marginal discrepancy at the abutment-framework interface of the maxillary left canine (L1), right canine (L2), and right first molar (L3) sites was measured. The mean values for 3D marginal discrepancy were calculated for each location in a group with 95% confidence limits. The results were analyzed by repeated-measures 2-way ANOVA using the restricted maximum likelihood estimation and the Satterthwaite degrees of freedom methods, which do not require normality and homoscedasticity in the data. The between-subjects factor was material, the within-subjects factor was location, and the interaction was included in the model. Tukey tests were applied to resolve any statistically significant source of variation (overall α=.05).


      The 3D marginal discrepancy measurement was possible only for L2 and L3 because the L1 values were too small to detect. The mean discrepancy values at L2 were 60 μm for HDP, 74 μm for Ti, and 84 μm for Zir. At the L3 location, the mean discrepancy values were 55 μm for HDP, 102 μm for Ti, and 94 μm for Zir. The ANOVA did not find a statistically significant overall effect for implant location (P=.072) or a statistically significant interaction of location and material (P=.078), but it did find a statistically significant overall effect of material (P=.019). Statistical differences were found overall between HDP and the other 2 materials (P≤.037).


      When the tested materials were used with the CAD-CAM system, the 3D marginal discrepancy of CAD-CAM HDP frameworks was smaller than that of titanium or zirconia frameworks.
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