Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Dental Medicine

First Committee Member

James Mah

Second Committee Member

Brendan O'Toole

Third Committee Member

Cliff Seran

Fourth Committee Member

Bob Martin

Number of Pages



Mouthguards help prevent orofacial injuries in many physical activities, commonly to the maxillary incisors. Mouthguards have many different properties which can be idealized. One property involves the amount of impact force the mouthguard can dissipate, commonly referred to as shock absorption. The aim of this study was to improve shock absorption capabilities beyond the protection that a mouthguard made of Ethylene Vinyl Acetate (EVA) can offer. A Nickel-Titanium (NiTi) and/or foam intermediate layer was placed between EVA. Seven configurations were fabricated at 3 different thicknesses. The configurations consisted of an intermediate layer composed of NiTi, foam, or NiTi/foam. The NiTi strips varied in porosity: 0%, 31%, and 50%. A drop tower was used for two different test methods. In the first test method, samples were placed on a flat plate attached to a force sensor that recorded transmitted peak force. The second testing method involved a simply supported aluminum plate that allowed some deflection allowing the calculation of energy absorption using transmitted peak force and strain energy data. Configurations with a NiTi intermediate layer in the three thickness groups performed significantly worse than the control in both the flat plate test and the simply supported beam test. The configurations with foam performed significantly better in the 2mm thickness group (P.05). Configurations with NiTi/foam did not perform significantly different from the control except for the samples in the 4mm thickness group which tested significantly worse (P.05). No difference was observed between the varying porosities (P>.05).


Foamed materials; Mouth protectors – Materials; Mouthguards; Nickel-titanium alloys; Shock (Mechanics); Shock absorption


Dentistry | Sports Management | Sports Studies

File Format


Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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