Statement of problem: Although closed hollow obturator prostheses provide the benefit of minimized weight, they also pose challenges. They are complex to fabricate, and contaminated water can easily enter the hollow section through the joined part, making them unsanitary and leading to malodor and increased weight. Purpose: The purpose of this in vitro study was to investigate the hermeticity and durability of a hollow obturator model fabricated by using computer-aided design (CAD) and rapid prototyping (RP) techniques and to evaluate the possibility of its clinical use. Material and methods: Leak testing was used to evaluate the hermeticity and durability of hollow spherical obturator specimens with an outer diameter of 30 mm and 2 different wall thicknesses (1.5 and 2.0 mm). Six specimens were fabricated for each of the wall thicknesses by using CAD and RP techniques. The accumulation of fluids in the hollow obturator specimens was evaluated every day by using megascopic observation with photoirradiation from the base of the specimens. The amount of water absorption and the rate of increase in the weight of the 2 specimens were calculated and compared. Statistical analysis was performed by using the Mann-Whitney U test (α=.05). Results: The application of CAD and RP techniques made it possible to fabricate a hollow obturator model specimen with completely unified parts. The 1.5-mm specimen showed an absorption rate (2.61%) that significantly exceeded that of the 2.0-mm specimen (2.53%) on day 130 (P=.006). By the end of the observation period, the 1.5-mm specimen exhibited large amounts of water absorption and destruction. The 1.5-mm-thick wall had reduced hermeticity than the 2.0-mm-thick wall. Conclusions: A fully unified hollow obturator model with 2.0-mm-thick walls was fabricated by using CAD and RP techniques. The absence of any joints prevented fluid accumulation, making this method suitable for the fabrication of hollow prostheses.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Oral Surgery