Journal of Prosthetic Dentistry
Systematic Review|Articles in Press

Mechanical properties and accuracy of removable partial denture frameworks fabricated by digital and conventional techniques: A systematic review


      Statement of problem

      Providing a removable partial denture (RPD) can be a complex, time-consuming, and error-prone procedure. Computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing (CAD-CAM) techniques have shown promising clinical outcomes; however, the influence of manufacturing techniques on the properties of RPD components is unclear.


      The purpose of this systematic review was to determine the accuracy and mechanical properties of RPD components fabricated with conventional and digital methods.

      Material and methods

      This study followed the guidelines of the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Review and Meta-analyses (PRISMA) and was registered on the international prospective register of systematic reviews (PROSPERO) database (CRD42022353993). An electronic search was conducted on PubMed/MEDLINE, Scopus, Web of Science, and the Cochrane Library in August 2022. Only in vitro studies comparing the digital with the lost-wax casting technique were included. The quality of the studies was assessed by using the methodological index for nonrandomized studies (MINORS) scale.


      Of the 17 selected studies, 5 evaluated the accuracy of RPD components as well as the mechanical properties, 5 studies evaluated only the component accuracy, and another 7 evaluated only the mechanical properties. The accuracy was similar regardless of the technique, with discrepancies within clinically acceptable values (50 to 426.3 μm). The surface roughness was higher for 3D-printed clasps and lower for milled clasps (P<.05). The metal alloy significantly influenced the porosity, with the highest number of pores obtained by casting for Ti clasps and by rapid prototyping for Co-Cr clasps.


      In vitro studies showed that the digital technique provided similar accuracy to that of the conventional technique within a clinically acceptable range. The manufacturing technique influenced the mechanical properties of RPD components.
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