Joda, T., Brägger, U.

The aim of this prospective cohort trial was to perform a cost/time analysis for implant-supported single-unit reconstructions in the digital workflow compared to the conventional pathway.

Materials and methods
A total of 20 patients were included for rehabilitation with 2×20 implant crowns in a crossover study design and treated consecutively, each with customised titanium abutments plus CAD/CAM-zirconia-suprastructures (test: digital) and with standardised titanium abutments plus PFM-crowns (control: conventional). Starting with prosthetic treatment, analysis was estimated for clinical and laboratory work steps including measure of costs in Swiss Francs (CHF), productivity rates and cost minimisation for first-line therapy. Statistical calculations were performed with Wilcoxon signed-rank test.

Both protocols worked successfully for all test and control reconstructions. Direct treatment costs were significantly lower for the digital workflow (1815.35CHF) compared to the conventional pathway (2119.65CHF) (P = 0.0004). For subprocess evaluation, total laboratory costs were calculated as 941.95CHF for the test group and 1245.65 CHF for the control group, respectively (P = 0.003). The clinical dental productivity rate amounted to 29.64CHF/min (digital) and 24.37CHF/min (conventional) (P = 0.002). Overall, cost minimisation analysis exhibited an 18% cost reduction within the digital process.

The digital workflow was more efficient than the established conventional pathway for implant-supported crowns in this investigation.

Clinical Oral Implants Research 2015; 26 (12): 1430-1435.