Dental students' preferences and performance in crown design: conventional wax-added versus CAD.J Dent Educ. 2014 Dec; 78(12):1663-72.JD
The purpose of this study was to evaluate dental students' perceptions of traditional waxing vs. computer-aided crown design and to determine the effectiveness of either technique through comparative grading of the final products. On one of twoidentical tooth preparations, second-year students at one dental school fabricated a wax pattern for a full contour crown; on the second tooth preparation, the same students designed and fabricated an all-ceramic crown using computer-aided design (CAD) and computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) technology. Projects were graded for occlusion and anatomic form by three faculty members. On completion of the projects, 100 percent of the students (n=50) completed an eight-question, five-point Likert scalesurvey, designed to assess their perceptions of and learning associated with the two design techniques. The average grades for the crown design projects were 78.3 (CAD) and 79.1 (wax design). The mean numbers of occlusal contacts were 3.8 (CAD) and 2.9(wax design), which was significantly higher for CAD (p=0.02). The survey results indicated that students enjoyed designing afull contour crown using CAD as compared to using conventional wax techniques and spent less time designing the crown using CAD. From a learning perspective, students felt that they learned more about position and the size/strength of occlusal contacts using CAD. However, students recognized that CAD technology has limits in terms of representing anatomic contours and excursive occlusion compared to conventional wax techniques. The results suggest that crown design using CAD could be considered as an adjunct to conventional wax-added techniques in preclinical fixed prosthodontic curricula.