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Sorption and solubility of a denture base acrylic
Statement of problem It is well documented that water sorption and water solubility by auto-polymerizing resins have a negative impact on their physical properties and may lead to harmful tissue reactions. The presence of residual monomer is often identified as the main cause for adverse tissue reactions. To optimize the polymerization reaction, the use of the proper powder/liquid ratio is recommended in the fabrication of a dental appliance. It is also recommended that a dental appliance should be soaked in water for at least 24 hours before delivery to a patient, in order to reduce the possible adverse effect. For auto-polymerizing resins, associated with higher residual monomer levels than heat-cured resins, soaking the appliance at elevated temperatures (65ºC for 60 minutes), would reduce the residual monomer content more efficiently than at room temperature. This requires additional processing conditions from the technician or dentist. Changing the powder/liquid ratios, deliberately or not, may modify the residual monomer content of the final product. A relationship exists between the levels of residual monomer and water sorption. Also, residual monomer leaching into the oral fluids may lead to adverse effects such as, oral tissue irritation or a delayed hypersensitivity reaction. Aim of the study The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of different powder/liquid ratios and different water temperatures on the levels of sorption and solubility of an auto-polymerizing resin material used for denture bases. The null-hypothesis tested was that there is no difference in sorption and solubility among groups of specimens made from an auto-polymerizing resin material soaked in water at different temperatures and/or fabricated with different powder/liquid ratios. Material and methods Specimens were made from cold-cure pour-type denture base resin (Type 2, Class 2) using different powder/liquid ratios and soaked at different soaking temperatures. One group of specimens fabricated with the manufacturer’s recommended powder/liquid ratio and soaked in water at 37ºC, served as the control group for both experiments. Custom-made stainless steel moulds were used to fabricate resin disks, with a diameter of 50mm and a thickness of 0.5mm. For the temperature-controlled experiment, identical specimens were prepared and stored in distilled water at 37ºC; 45ºC; 55ºC and 67ºC. For the ratio-controlled experiment, the ratios were increased incrementally for each group, starting with a 10% increase, followed by a 15%; 20% and 25% increase in monomer. Water sorption and solubility were tested in accordance with ISO Standard 1567 (1999). Specimens were weighed before and after water immersion, and desiccation. Water sorption and solubility were calculated using the difference in wet and dry mass and the volume of the specimens. The water sorption and solubility results were analyzed by means of analysis of variance. For multiple comparisons, Bonferroni simultaneous confidence intervals (α=0.05) were applied. Results For the ratio-controlled experiment, water sorption mean values varied from 24.148 μg/mm3 to 25.1333 μg/mm3. Statistically significant differences in mean values were found between the following groups: 0%-10%; 0%-15%; 0%-25%; 10%-20%; 15%-20% and 20%-25% ratio groups (P<.0001). Water solubility mean values varied from 0.616μg/mm3 to 0.932μg/mm3. Statistically significant differences in mean values were found between the following groups: 0%-15%; 0%-20%; 0%-25% and 10%-25% and 20%-25% ratio groups (P<.0001). For the temperature-controlled experiment, water sorption mean values varied from 24.185μg/mm3 to 26.434μg/mm3. Statistically significant differences in mean values were found between the following groups: 37ºC-45ºC; 37ºC-55ºC; 37ºC-67ºC; 45ºC-67ºC and 55ºC-67ºC temperature-controlled experiments (P<.0001). Water solubility mean values, for the same experimental groups, varied from 0.616μg/mm3 to 2.752μg/mm3. Statistically significant differences in mean values were found among all the 6 pairs of groups (P<.0001). Despite statistical differences, the water sorption and water solubility values of the tested resin for both experiments and all groups were within the ISO Standard 1567 (1999) specification limits. Conclusion For the ratio-controlled experiment, there was an inverse relationship between the mean sorption and solubility values with an increase in liquid in the mixture: low water sorption levels are associated with high solubility levels. The lower water sorption and higher solubility results for more fluid mixtures could be related to initial and residual high monomer content characteristic of auto-polymerizing materials. These higher levels of free monomer are consequently released upon immersion in water; hence the higher water solubility levels. For the temperature-controlled experiment, a higher soaking temperature resulted in an increase in water solubility levels. The higher solubility levels could be attributed to the higher soaking temperatures causing higher or faster monomer diffusion from the resin material. Except for the 67ºC group, sorption is also lower with higher temperatures. It may be assumed that an additional polymerization process takes place and a subsequent more inaccessible polymer matrix is produced. For the 67ºC group, thermal expansion may explain the higher sorption level. Clinical Implications In terms of the sorption and solubility results, this auto-polymerizing pour-type resin may be used as a denture base resin. Even though statistical differences were demonstrated, the material satisfies the ISO 1567 (1999) requirements not only for auto-polymerizing but also for heat-polymerizing resins. Therefore, within limits, the mixture may be prepared more fluidly in order to improve flow of the material, without negatively affecting its sorption and solubility properties. Because solubility is higher at higher soaking temperatures, this property can be used to minimize monomer content of the appliance. Therefore, it is recommended that the dental appliance be soaked in warm water, below 67ºC, prior to delivery to the patient.