Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science



First Advisor

Eser Tufekci

Second Advisor

Sompop Bencharit

Third Advisor

Caroline Carrico


Purpose: The aim of this study was to evaluate the differences in the precision, trueness, and accuracy of 3D printed orthodontic clear retainers produced using printer systems with various printing technologies.

Methods: Retainers (n=15) were printed using four different 3D printers: a stereolithography (SLA) printer, two different digital light processing (DLP and cDLP) printers, and a polyjet photopolymer (PPP) printer. The 3D printed retainers were transformed into a digital file through a cone-beam computed tomography scan that was compared to the original image using a 3D superimposition analysis software. At previously chosen landmarks (R6, L6, R3, L3, R1, L1) retainers were compared to the reference model. The intercanine and the intermolar width measurements were also analyzed for deviations between the samples and the original file. A discrepancy up to 0.25mm was considered clinically acceptable. Precision of printers was evaluated on 5 randomly chosen samples. Trueness was determined by comparing the measurements on printed retainers to those on the original image file. Root mean square (RMS) and percent of points within the tolerance level (inTOL) were also calculated with respect to precision and trueness for each retainer. Samples were analyzed for intra-printer reliability (precision), and inter-printer trueness. Statistical significance was set at P<0.05.

Results: Interrater correlation coefficient indicated good agreement and all measurements were within 0.10mm at least 95% of the time. Statistically significant differences were found between printer types among each of the 6 landmarks and the arch widths. When evaluating inTOL and RMS, statistically significant differences in both median precision and trueness among each printer type were found. SLA and PPP printing technologies exhibited both excellent precision and trueness.

Conclusion: Retainers fabricated by SLA, DLP, cDLP, and PPP technologies were shown to be clinically acceptable and accurate compared to the standard reference file. SLA and PPP printers showed greater accuracy, and the DLP and cDLP printers exhibited greater precision. The PPP printer had the most accurate intra-arch measurements followed by the SLA printer, and therefore, based on their high trueness and precision values, were deemed to be the most accurate overall.


© Owais Naeem D.D.S.

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