Time-efficiency and cost-analysis comparing three digital workflows for treatment with monolithic zirconia implant fixed dental prostheses: A double-blinded RCT.

Joda, Tim; Gintaute, Aiste; Brägger, Urs; Ferrari, Marco; Weber, Karin; Zitzmann, Nicola U. (2021). Time-efficiency and cost-analysis comparing three digital workflows for treatment with monolithic zirconia implant fixed dental prostheses: A double-blinded RCT. Journal of dentistry, 113, p. 103779. Elsevier Science 10.1016/j.jdent.2021.103779

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This double-blinded randomized controlled trial investigated economic performance indicators (EPI) in terms of time-efficiency and production costs of 3-unit monolithic zirconium-dioxide (ZrO2) implant fixed dental prostheses (iFDP) in three different workflows.


Twenty patients with two Straumann Tissue-Level-Implants received three iFDPs; two were fabricated in proprietary complete digital workflows with intraoral optical scanning and model-free fabrication with company-related CAD/CAM lab-software while one iFDP was manufactured on digitized casts from conventional impressions. The sequence of impression-taking for the three workflows (TRIOS 3/3Shape [Test-1]; Virtuo Vivo/Dental Wings [Test-2]; Impregum/3M Espe [Control]) was randomly allocated. Sixty iFDPs bonded to ti-base abutments were analyzed. Clinical and technical worksteps for Test-1/Test-2/Control were recorded and evaluated for time-efficiency including cost-analysis (CHF=Swiss Francs) using ANOVA-Tests (significance level α=0.05).


Mean total work time, as the sum of clinical plus technical steps, was 97.5 min (SD±23.6) for Test-1, 193.1 min (SD±25.2) for Test-2, and 172.6 min (SD±27.4) for Control. Times were significantly different between Test-1/Test-2 (p<0.00001), Test-1/Control (p<0.00001), and Test-2/Control (p<0.03610). Technical costs were 566 CHF (SD±49.3) for Test-1, 711 CHF (SD±78.8) for Test-2, 812 CHF (SD±89.6) for Control, and were also significantly different for all comparisons (p<0.00001).


Test-1 demonstrated the best performance for time-efficiency, Test-2 revealed the worst result. This indicates that digital workflows are not the same and not necessarily superior to analog workflows of monolithic ZrO2 iFDPs. Complexity decreases by reducing the number of steps following complete digital workflows, resulting in lower production costs compared to the mixed analog-digital workflow with conventional impressions.


Complete digital workflows comprising intraoral optical scanning without physical models for treatment with monolithic ZrO2 iFDPs is an efficient alternative to mixed analog-digital workflows with conventional impressions and labside digitization of dental casts.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > School of Dental Medicine > Department of Reconstructive Dentistry and Gerodontology

UniBE Contributor:

Brägger, Urs




Elsevier Science




Lena Augé

Date Deposited:

14 Sep 2021 14:46

Last Modified:

03 Oct 2021 01:34

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

Clinical Research Dental Implant Digital Dentistry Economic Performance Indicator (EPI) Economics Fixed Dental Prosthesis (FDP)





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