Research and Education Learning curve of intraoral scanning by prosthodontic residents

The Journal of Prosthetic Dentistry

Available online 10 May 2019

The Journal of Prosthetic Dentistry


Statement of problem

The use of intraoral scanning (IOS) to replace conventional impressions has become popular. However, the learning time required to use these devices effectively is unknown.


The purpose of this in vitro study was to investigate the learning rate, plateau, and difficulty level over repetitive IOS among prosthodontic residents.

Material and methods

Twenty participants with no experience of IOS were recruited. Maxillary and mandibular typodont casts were attached to a manikin head. Participants received training on the IOS device (Omnicam; Dentsply Sirona) and performed maxillary, mandibular, and buccal IOS for 9 trials. The time required for scanning (ST) and the perception of difficulty were recorded. The percentage ratio of time for each trial to the best performance was calculated. A nonlinear regression model was used to estimate the learning plateau and rate.


The findings for maxillary, mandibular, buccal, and total IOS were as follows: ST: 106 ±40 seconds (69 ±24%), 96 ±34 seconds (68 ±22%), 74 ±31 seconds (65 ±22%), and 276 ±88 seconds (72 ±20%); learning plateau: 83.40%, 80.60%, 74.30%, and 85.10%; learning rate: 5.37, 5.01, 3.81, and 4.98. With repetition of the trials, the difficulty level decreased from 6 to 4.


The repetitive use of IOS showed a learning phase of 5 trials to achieve competence of 80% of their best performance. The scanning time and difficulty level decreased with the repetitive use of IOS.
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