Journal of Prosthetic Dentistry
Research and Education| Volume 124, ISSUE 5, P575-580, November 2020

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Intraoral digital scans: Part 2—influence of ambient scanning light conditions on the mesh quality of different intraoral scanners

Published:December 20, 2019DOI:


      Statement of problem

      Digital scans should be able to accurately reproduce the different complex geometries of the patient's mouth. Mesh quality of the digitized mouth is an important factor that influences the capabilities of the geometry reproduction of an intraoral scanner (IOS). However, the mesh quality capabilities of IOSs and the relationship with different ambient light scanning conditions are unclear.


      The purpose of this in vitro study was to measure the impact of various light conditions on the mesh quality of different IOSs.

      Material and methods

      Three IOSs were evaluated—iTero Element, CEREC Omnicam, and TRIOS 3—with 4 lighting conditions—chair light, 10 000 lux; room light, 1003 lux; natural light, 500 lux; and no light, 0 lux. Ten digital scans per group were made of a mandibular typodont. The mesh quality of digital scans was analyzed by using the iso2mesh MATLAB package. Two-way ANOVA and Kruskal-Wallis 1-way ANOVA statistical tests were used to analyze the data (á=.05).


      Significant differences in mesh quality values were found among the different IOSs under the same lighting conditions and among the different lighting conditions using the same IOS. TRIOS 3 showed the highest consistency and mesh quality mean values across all scanning lighting conditions tested. CEREC Omnicam had the lowest mean mesh quality values across all scanning lighting conditions. iTero Element displayed some consistency in the mesh quality values depending on the scanning lighting conditions: chair light and room light conditions presented good consistency in mesh quality, indicating better mesh quality, and natural light and no light conditions displayed differing consistency in mesh quality values. Nevertheless, no light condition led to the minimal mean mesh quality across all IOS groups.


      Differences in the mesh quality between different IOSs should be expected. The photographic scanning techniques evaluated presented higher mesh quality mean values than the video-based scanning technology tested. Moreover, changes in lighting condition significantly affect mesh quality. TRIOS 3 showed the highest consistency in terms of the mean mesh quality, indicating better photographic system in comparison with iTero Element.
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