Aim: The present study aimed to determine the impact of different degrees of salivary contamination and variations in occlusal force during intraoral scanning of inlay/onlay cavities on the accuracy of fine structure reconstruction and occlusal records.
Keywords: intraoral optical scanning, digital impression, occlusal contact, occlusal force simulation, internal angle measure, CAD/CAM, three-dimensional reconstruction, salivary contamination
Materials and methods: Digital data of inlay/onlay models, collected using an intraoral scanner, were divided into 40 groups according to the restoration type (onlay or inlay), salivary contamination level (none, completely dry; mild, moist but not visually completely apparent; moderate, half-filled cavity; severe, filled-up cavity), and simulated occlusal force (0, 2, 4, 6 or 8 kg). The acquired 120 datasets were used to measure the average interocclusal space and cavity buccolingual internal angle.
Results: Salivary contamination and occlusal force did affect the occlusal contact (P < 0.001), but restoration type did not (P > 0.05). An interaction was found between inlay type and salivary contamination (P < 0.001), but not between occlusal force and salivary contamination (P > 0.05). Salivary contamination also affected the accuracy of fine structure reconstruction (P < 0.001), but restoration type did not (P > 0.05), and no interaction was found between the two factors (P > 0.05). The difference in the measured internal angle increased with the increase in salivary contamination.
Conclusions: Intraoral optical scanning of inlay/onlay preparations was reliable for recording occlusal contact but showed uncertainty in cavity fine structure reconstruction when moderate or severe salivary contamination was present in the cavity. Nevertheless, a moist cavity surface with no visually apparent salivary contamination is acceptable. (Int J Comput Dent 2022;25(3):257–265; doi: 10.3290/j.ijcd.b2599691)