Comparison of forces transmitted through different EVA mouthguards

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Athletic mouthguards have been recommended for decades with varying levels of athlete acceptance. Issues related to compliance center around the ability to breath and speak while wearing the mouthguards. Fabrication techniques have changed over time to a two-layer ethylene vinyl acetate mouthguard fabricated on a high-pressure machine. The reported ideal thickness of these mouthguards has been somewhat variable depending on the sport and anticipated level of risk. Recent research however, has identified 4 mm as the optimal thickness of EVA. In this study an acrylic dental cast was fabricated and mounted to a drop impact fixture. Mouthguards of varying ply, thickness and palatal coverage were fabricated and tested in the fixture. Strain gauges and load cells were used to evaluate the effect of ply, thickness, and palatal coverage on the ability of these mouthguards to minimize transmitted forces. The purpose of this study was to identify those variables of mouthguard construction that will minimize the overall transmitted force of impact to the anterior dentition.

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