The thermoforming process involves the heating of plastic sheets to a critical temperature followed by the shaping of the heated material into a three-dimensional structure. Given that custom-fabricated mouthguards are produced using the thermoforming process, the adaptation of plastic sheets to a stone model of the dentition is likely to be affected by the ability of the mouthguard material to be heated. The purpose of this study was to establish if material color affected the adaptation and fit of custom-made mouthguards. Twelve stone models were used in this investigation. Five mouthguards were produced using each model. These mouthguards were made using clear-, white-, black-, blue- and green-colored ethyl vinyl acetate. The force required to remove the various colored mouthguards from the corresponding stone models was determined using a strain gauge housed within a specially designed apparatus. Each of the mouthguards were tested three times at two different angles of pull -45° and 90°. Statistical tests performed using the average amount of force required for mouthguard removal revealed an angle by color interaction. Post hoc analyses revealed that the mean force required to remove the clear-colored mouthguards from their respective stone models was significantly less than the force required to pull away blue-, black- and green-colored mouthguards. This difference between clear- and dark-colored mouthguards was observed at both angles tested with the exception of the black mouthguard which differed from the clear-colored mouthguard only when removed at an angle of 90°. The results of the present study indicate that by using dark-colored mouthguard material, one can achieve superior adaptation and thus produce a more firmly fitting mouthguard.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Oral Surgery