The accuracy of implant impressions: A systematic review
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Various implant impression techniques, such as the splint, pick-up, and transfer techniques, have been introduced, and some techniques may be more accurate than others. Clinically, some factors such as angulations or depth of implants, may affect the accuracy of the implant impressions. Therefore, accurate method of recording implant impressions is reviewed.
The purposes of this review were to:
(1) Investigate the accuracy of published implant impression techniques
(2) Examine the clinical factors affecting implant impression accuracy.
Material and methods
An electronic search was performed in October 2016 of MEDLINE, EMBASE, and Cochrane Library databases with the key words implant, implants, impression, and impressions. To be included, the study had to investigate the accuracy of implant impressions and be published in an English peer-reviewed journal. In addition, a hand search was performed to enrich the results for the time period from January 1980 to May 2008. After executing the search strategies, 41 articles were selected to be included in the review process.
All of the selected articles were in vitro studies. Of the 17 studies that compared the accuracy between the splint and nonsplint techniques, 7 advocated the splint technique, 3 advocated the nonsplint technique, and 7 re-ported no difference. Fourteen studies compared the accuracy of pick-up and transfer impression techniques, and 5 showed more accurate impression with the pick-up techniques, 2 with the transfer technique, and 7 showed no differ-ence. The number of implants affected the comparison of the pick-up and splint techniques. Eleven studies compared the accuracy of polyether and vinyl polysiloxane (VPS), and 10 of 11 reported no difference between the 2 materials. Four studies examined the effect of implant angulation on the accuracy of impressions. Two studies reported higher accuracy with straight implants, while the other 2 reported there was no angulation effect.
The review of abutment level or implant level internal connection implants indicated that more studies reported greater accuracy with the splint technique than with the nonsplint technique. For situations in which there were 3 or fewer implants, most studies showed no difference between the pick-up and transfer techniques, whereas for 4 or more implants, more studies showed higher accuracy with the pick-up technique. Polyether and VPS were the recommended materials for the implant impressions.