Clinical Oral Investigations

, Volume 22, Issue 3, pp 1209–1213 | Cite as

High-resolution MR imaging for dental impressions: a feasibility study

  • Julian Boldt
  • Kurt Rottner
  • Marc Schmitter
  • Andreas Hopfgartner
  • Peter Jakob
  • Ernst-Jürgen Richter
  • Olga Tymofiyeva
Original Article



Magnetic resonance imaging is an emerging technology in dental medicine. While low-resolution MRI has especially provided means to examine the temporomandibular joint due to its anatomic inaccessibility, it was the goal of this study to assess whether high-resolution MRI is capable of delivering a dataset sufficiently precise enough to serve as digital impression of human teeth.

Materials and methods

An informed and consenting patient in need of dental restoration with fixed partial dentures was chosen as subject. Two prepared teeth were measured using MRI and the dataset subjected to mathematical processing before Fourier transformation. After reconstruction, a 3D file was generated which was fed into an existing industry standard CAD/CAM process.


A framework for a fixed dental prosthesis was digitally modeled and manufactured by laser-sintering. The fit in situ was found to be acceptable by current clinical standards, which allowed permanent placement of the fixed prosthesis.


Using a clinical whole-body MR scanner with the addition of custom add-on hardware, contrast enhancement, and data post-processing, resolution and signal-to-noise ratio were sufficiently achieved to allow fabrication of a dental restoration in an acquisition time comparable to the setting time of common dental impression materials. Furthermore, the measurement was well tolerated.

Clinical Relevance

The herein described method can be regarded as proof of principle that MRI is a promising option for digital impressions when fixed partial dentures are required.


MRI Dental impression Digital impression Intra-oral receiver coil Fixed partial denture 



This work was funded by the abovementioned departments. The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest. Marginal funding was indirectly granted by fabrication of a dental restoration free of charge by DeguDent, Hanau, Germany.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Ethical approval

All applicable international, national, and/or institutional guidelines for the care and use of animals were followed. All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from the individual participant included in this study.The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of ProsthodonticsUniversity of WürzburgWürzburgGermany
  2. 2.Institute of Experimental Physics VUniversity of WürzburgWürzburgGermany

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