Research and Education Marginal fit of CAD-CAM monolithic zirconia crowns fabricated by using cone beam computed tomography scans

The Journal of Prosthetic Dentistry

Available online 23 October 2019

The Journal of Prosthetic Dentistry


Statement of problem

Information regarding the precision of monolithic zirconia crowns fabricated by using a standard computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing (CAD-CAM) workflow is available. However, information on the effect of a modified workflow using 3D laboratory scanning and/or cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) for monolithic zirconia crown fabrication is lacking.


The purpose of this in vitro study was to evaluate the effect of different scans on the marginal fit of CAD-CAM monolithic zirconia crowns fabricated by 3D laboratory scanning and CBCT.

Material and methods

An extracted maxillary left first molar was prepared and digitized by using a 3D laboratory scanner (D900; 3Shape) (control group). The tooth was also scanned by CBCT (i-CAT; Imaging Sciences) to generate a second virtual 3D model (CBCTscan group). A tooth cast out of polyurethane (PU) (Zenotec Model; Wieland) was reproduced from the CBCT data by using a CAD software program (Dental System 2.6; 3Shape) and milling machine (CORiTEC 550i; imes-icore) and further scanned by using the 3D laboratory scanner to generate a third virtual 3D model to represent a clinical scenario where a patient’s cast is needed (PU3DLab group). A monolithic zirconia crown design (cement space: margin 40 μm, 1 mm above 70 μm) was used on the virtual models, and crowns were fabricated out of presintered zirconia blocks (ZenostarT4; Wieland) by using a 5-axis milling machine (CORiTEC 550i; imes-icore). The crowns were sintered (Sinterofen HT-S Speed; Mihm-Vogt), and the vertical marginal discrepancy (VMD) was measured by ×100-magnification microscopy. Measurements were made at 384 points in 3 groups of 16 specimens. The measurements for each specimen were averaged, and VMD mean values were calculated. The Kruskal-Wallis test was used for the statistical analysis (α=.05). The Mann-Whitney U test and Bonferroni adjustment were further used to compare the pairs (α=.017).


The mean VMD value was 41 μm (median: 38 μm) for the control group, 44 μm (median: 42 μm) for the CBCTscan, and 60 μm (median: 58 μm) for the PU3DLab. No significant difference was found between control and CBCTscan groups (P=.274). However, there was a significant difference between control and PU3DLab and CBCTscan and PU3DLab groups (P<.001).


Marginal fit of the crowns fabricated by using the 3D laboratory scanner and through the direct use of CBCT was better than that of the crowns fabricated by using the workflow that combined the use of CBCT, PU cast, and 3D laboratory scanner. All tested protocols enabled the fabrication of monolithic zirconia crowns with a marginal discrepancy smaller than 120 μm.
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