Objectives: To examine the influences of design and finishing on mouthguard wearability and retention.
Materials and methods: 17 students at the Dental Technician Institute at Osaka University School of Dentistry, Osaka, Japan, participated in this study after providing informed consent. For each student, a single-layer custom-made mouthguard was fabricated from a 3.8-mm-thick ethylene-vinyl acetate sheet using a standardised procedure to obtain a precise fit. Each mouthguard was modified by changing the margin location and shape through five consecutive steps. At each step, questionnaires with a visual analogue scale regarding wearability (comfort, breathing, speaking, swallowing, lip closure, temporomandibular joint fatigue and swallowing) and retention were completed by subjects after wearing the mouthguard for 5 min. Statistical analyses were carried out among the steps using Wilcoxon’s signed-rank test with a significance level of p<0.05.
Results: Significant improvements were found for comfort, breathing, speaking and swallowing by trimming the palatal margin to the cervical area, smooth finishing and occlusal adjustment of the mouthguard (p<0.01). No significant differences were found for retention throughout the procedure.
Conclusions: Within the limitations of this experimental study, design and finishing at the palatal side appear to have significant influences on mouthguard wearability, but not retention.
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Published Online First 25 September 2006
Competing interests: None declared.
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