Validation of 3D documentation of palatal soft tissue shape, color, and irregularity with intraoral scanning

J.T. Deferm, R. Schreurs, F. Baan, R. Bruggink, M.A.W. Merkx, T. Xi, S.J. Bergé, T.J.J. Maal

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Objectives: The purpose of this study was to assess the feasibility of 3D intraoral scanning for documentation of palatal soft tissue by evaluating the accuracy of shape, color, and curvature.
Materials and methods: Intraoral scans of ten participants’ upper dentition and palate were acquired with the TRIOS® 3D intraoral scanner by two observers. Conventional impressions were taken and digitized as a gold standard. The resulting surface models were aligned using an Iterative Closest Point approach. The absolute distance measurements between the intraoral models and the digitized impression were used to quantify the trueness and precision of intraoral scanning. The mean color of the palatal soft tissue was extracted in HSV (hue, saturation, value) format to establish the color precision. Finally, the mean curvature of the surface models was calculated and used for surface irregularity.
Results: Mean average distance error between the conventional impression models and the intraoral models was 0.02 ± 0.07 mm (p = 0.30). Mean interobserver color difference was − 0.08 ± 1.49° (p = 0.864), 0.28 ± 0.78% (p = 0.286), and 0.30 ± 1.14% (p = 0.426) for respectively hue, saturation, and value. The interobserver differences for overall and maximum surface irregularity were 0.01 ± 0.03 and 0.00 ± 0.05 mm.
Conclusions: This study supports the hypothesis that the intraoral scan can perform a 3D documentation of palatal soft tissue in terms of shape, color, and curvature. Clinical relevance: An intraoral scanner can be an objective tool, adjunctive to the clinical examination of the palatal tissue.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1303-1309
JournalClinical Oral Investigations
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2018


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