High-resolution MR imaging for dental impressions: a feasibility studyedit
Objectives: Magnetic resonance imaging is an emerging technology in dental medicine. While low-resolution MRI has especially provided means to examine the temporomandibular joint due to its anatomic inaccessibility, it was the goal of this study to assess whether high-resolution MRI is capable of delivering a dataset sufficiently precise enough to serve as digital impression of human teeth. Materials and methods: An informed and consenting patient in need of dental restoration with fixed partial dentures was chosen as subject. Two prepared teeth were measured using MRI and the dataset subjected to mathematical processing before Fourier transformation. After reconstruction, a 3D file was generated which was fed into an existing industry standard CAD/CAM process. Results: A framework for a fixed dental prosthesis was digitally modeled and manufactured by laser-sintering. The fit in situ was found to be acceptable by current clinical standards, which allowed permanent placement of the fixed prosthesis. Conclusions: Using a clinical whole-body MR scanner with the addition of custom add-on hardware, contrast enhancement, and data post-processing, resolution and signal-to-noise ratio were sufficiently achieved to allow fabrication of a dental restoration in an acquisition time comparable to the setting time of common dental impression materials. Furthermore, the measurement was well tolerated.