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Background: Measurement of masticatory force has long been used to understand the biomechanics of chewing and assess the therapeutic effects of prostheses. This study aimed to design, fabricate and use a simple, portable and efficient electric circuit to reliably and reproducibly measure the masticatory load. Also, the results obtained by using this device were compared in a small population.
Methods: Using a standard pressure-sensitive sensor, an electrical circuit was designed and fabricated. After ensuring the function of device with minimum error, the masticatory loads of 100 subjects selected via non-random sampling, were measured and recorded at the right and left posterior regions, anterior regions of both jaws and the right and left quadrants of the maxilla and mandible. Data were analyzed using SPSS 16 and analytical and descriptive statistical tests.
Results: Significant correlations were found between 1. Males and females in terms of the mean masticatory force 2. Bilateral masticatory force and unilateral masticatory force (right and left) and 3. Masticatory load at the posterior regions and the masticatory force at the anterior regions of both jaws Comparison of the masticatory force among different groups in terms of craniofacial morphology revealed no significant differences.
Conclusion: The designed device had adequate accuracy. It has unique properties such as an external sensor, which is replaceable and can be disinfected and also a digital port. It has the ability to measure maximum and sub-maximum masticatory loads and the possibility to depict them in a graph.