Research and Education| Volume 129, ISSUE 5, P797.e1-797.e7, May 2023

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Evaluation of physicomechanical properties of milled versus 3D-printed denture base resins: A comparative in vitro study


      Statement of problem

      Studies comparing the physicomechanical characteristics of denture base resins manufactured by computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing (CAD-CAM) milling and 3-dimensional (3D) printing are sparse, resulting in challenges when choosing a fabrication method for complete dentures.


      The purpose of this in vitro study was to evaluate and compare the impact strength, flexural strength, and the surface roughness of denture base resins manufactured by CAD-CAM milling and 3D printing before and after thermocycling and polishing.

      Material and methods

      Evaluation of the physicomechanical properties (n=35) was completed before and after 500 thermocycles. Impact strength (n=14) was measured with a Charpy impact tester and flexural strength (n=14) with the 3-point bend test. Surface roughness (Ra) was evaluated (n=7) with a profilometer before and after thermocycling and polishing and by viewing the surface topography before and after polishing using a scanning electron microscope at ×2000. The Mann-Whitney U test and Wilcoxon sign rank test were used for statistical analysis (α=.05).


      Milled specimens showed statistically significantly higher impact strength before thermocycling and statistically significantly higher flexural strength before and after thermocycling (P=.004) compared with 3D-printed specimens. The Ra values for the milled group were significantly lower than for the 3D-printed group both before and after thermocycling (P=.006) and after polishing (P=.027). Thermocycling resulted in a statistically significant difference in flexural strength (P=.018) in both groups and in surface roughness in the milled group (P=.048); but no significant effect was found on impact strength (P>.05). Ra values for the 3D-printed group decreased after polishing (P=.048).


      Milled specimens had higher flexural and impact strength and lower surface roughness values than 3D-printed specimens. Polishing significantly reduced the surface roughness in 3D-printed specimens but had no significant effect on milled specimens.
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