Master of Science
Eser Tüfekçi, DDS, MS, PhD, MSHA
Sompop Bencharit, DDS, MS, PhD
Caroline Carrico, PhD
Purpose: The aims of this study were: 1) to compare the accuracy and precision of 3-
dimensional (3D) printed retainers at various angulations, 2) to evaluate the effect of angulation
on printing time and the amount of resin consumed.
Methods: Using a stereolithography (SLA) 3D printer, a total of 60 clear retainers were printed at five angulations (n=12, each): 15, 30, 45, 60, and 90 degrees. Six retainers were printed each cycle at a random order for all print angulations as print 1 and print 2. Digital images of the original and printed retainers were superimposed. Discrepancies on eight landmarks were measured by two independent examiners. 0.25 mm was set as the clinically acceptable threshold to determine the accuracy of the retainers.
Results: Deviations ranged from 0.074 mm to 0.225 mm from the reference retainer at the cusp tips and incisal edges at all angulations, falling within the threshold of clinical acceptance. Smooth surfaces ranged from 0.263 mm to 0.480 mm, falling beyond the level of clinical acceptance. Printing at 15 degrees was estimated to be the most time-efficient, while printing at 45 degrees was estimated to be the most cost-effective.
Conclusions: 3D-printed retainers, using an SLA printer, were found to be accurate within 0.25 mm at all print angulations at the cusp tips and incisal edges when compared to the reference digital file. Smooth facial surfaces fell beyond of the level of clinical acceptability. Printing at 15 degrees was estimated to be the most time-efficient, while printing at 45 degrees was estimated to be the most cost-effective.
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