This research aims to compare the accuracy of different auricular impression techniques used to produce either a mirror image of the unaffected ear or a surgical stent and template for auricular rehabilitation. The research compares two digital ear impression techniques using an Intra-Oral digital Scanner (IOS) (with /without markers) versus a traditional technique using hydrocolloid impression materials.
Material and methods
Eight participants were selected with intact right ears. Patients’ right ears were digitally scanned with an IOS, once with resin markers and once without markers. A conventional auricular impression was taken for each participant, which was then scanned using a desktop scanner. The digital IOS technique with markers was set as a reference model. Total 3D deviations between the study groups were calculated using Geomagic control software (software for 3D coordinate measuring technology). An independent sample t-test was used to make comparisons between the two tested groups.
The conventional impression and the intraoral scan without markers recorded a mean of 1.4057 ± 0.3581 and 0.7605±0.1469, respectively, of total 3D deviation from the intraoral scan with markers. There was a significant difference in auricular impression accuracy between conventional and intraoral scans without markers.
Using intraoral scanners facilitates impression acquisition and increases the accuracy compared to traditional hydrocolloid impression techniques, which may affect the shape of tissue due to its liability to be compressed by the impression material.
Using markers allows for very precise data collection, reducing stitching complications that affect the accuracy of scans taken without markers.
The proposed technique for auricular digital impression using an intraoral scanner guarantees a fast technique with accurate results in acquiring anatomical data for the rehabilitation of ear defects.
This research was registered on clinicaltrials.gov with the following registration number: NCT04893902.
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Published online: August 04, 2022
Accepted: August 1, 2022
Received: April 5, 2022
© 2022 British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.