Takahashi, M., Koide, K., Satoh, Y. and Iwasaki, S.-i. (2015), Heating methods for reducing unevenness softening of mouthguard sheets in vacuum–pressure formation. Dental Traumatology. doi: 10.1111/edt.12254
Unevenness in softening of the plastic sheet leads to a decrease in the mouthguard thickness during thermoforming. In this study, we examined the heating methods for reducing unevenness when softening mouthguard sheets during vacuum–pressure formation.
Materials and methods
Ethylene vinyl acetate mouthguard sheets and olefin copolymer sheets (thickness: 4.0 mm) were used. The following three heating conditions were compared: condition A—the sheet was molded when it sagged 15 mm from the sheet frame (under normal condition); condition B—the heater was turned off when the sheet sagged by 10 mm from the frame, followed by the sheet molding when the sagging reached 15 mm below the frame; and condition C—the sheet was inverted after heating when the sheet sagged 10 mm and was molded when the sagging reached 15 mm below the frame. The sheet was heated and pressed over the model using a vacuum–pressure machine; then, 10 s of vacuum forming and 2 min of pressure molding were applied. The sheet temperatures were measured using a radiation thermometer. Thickness of the fabricated sheets was determined for the incisal and the molar portion using a measuring device. Thickness data for each condition were analyzed by one-way anova followed by Bonferroni's multiple comparison tests.
On both sheets, condition B was smallest for temperature difference between the heated and the non-heated surface, and thicknesses after molding were greatest at all measuring portions.
By comparing changes in sheet temperatures at molding and variation in thicknesses when applying the heating method using a vacuum–pressure molding machine, we found that reduced unevenness in sheet softening occurred when the heater was turned off when the sag distance of the sheet was 5 mm less than the conventional molding, and then, the sheet was pressed when the conventional sag distance was reached.