The purpose of this study was to develop a simplified technique for measuring masticatory performance by measuring the particle size distribution of masticated hydrocolloid impression material using a sieve method. Masticatory performance was defined as the rate of increase in the number of particles of masticated material on specific sieves with the increment in the number of chewing strokes. The number and weight of masticated hydrocolloid impression material on 10 sieves were compared with results for peanuts. The reproducibility of this method to determine masticatory performance was then examined. In seven sieves, there was a linear relationship between the number of particles and the number of chewing strokes for the hydrocolloid impression material; Pearson's correlation coefficient was higher for the hydrocolloid impression material than for peanuts. Measuring masticatory performance three times a day and three times every week revealed there were no differences in intra-individual variation in masticatory performance in six sieves. There was no significant difference between the masticatory performance calculated from two mastication tasks using the specific sieves and that calculated from seven tasks. These results suggest that this simplified sieve method using hydrocolloid materials can be reliably used for research purposes and in clinical situations.
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