Comparative evaluation of the clinical success of 3D-printed space maintainers and band–loop space maintainers


International Journal of Paediatric Dentistry, 2024 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Publication Date: 2024
  • Doi Number: 10.1111/ipd.13159
  • Journal Name: International Journal of Paediatric Dentistry
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, CINAHL, EMBASE, MEDLINE
  • Keywords: 3D printing, CAD/CAM, laser sintering, space maintainers
  • Akdeniz University Affiliated: Yes


Background: Exploring the integration of 3D-printing technology in space maintainer (SM) manufacturing could offer innovative solutions and insights for enhancing SMs. Aim: To compare the clinical success, retention, and periodontal effect of traditional band–loop (TBL) SMs with 3D-printed SMs. Design: Seventy children (mean age: 6.99 ± 1.18) were divided into two groups. Laser sintering (LS) group (n = 34): Patients were scanned with an intraoral scanner. SMs were produced with LS 3D-printing method from a titanium-based metal powder. T group (n = 36): Impressions were taken with alginate. SMs were produced by adjusting the bands and soldering the wires on the model. The retention and effects on oral hygiene of the SMs were evaluated at the sixth month. Preference for impression technique was assessed by a five-question survey. Results: Thirty-eight percent of T SMs and 66% of LS SMs failed (p =.007). The mean survival time was significantly higher in the T group (p =.035). No difference was found between the initial and control full-mouth Gingival Index (GI) and Plaque Index (PI) values of the two groups. Both groups had increased GI/PI values in abutment teeth. Patients in the LS group interpreted their impression experience more positively. Conclusion: It is important to provide oral hygiene education before applying fixed SMs and utilize more digital workflow in paediatric dentistry.