PURPOSE: This systematic review aims to identify and interpret results of studies that evaluated the changes in the physical properties of maxillofacial prosthetic materials (1) without aging, (2) after natural or artificial accelerated aging, and (3) after outdoor weathering.
METHODS: Relevant articles written in English only, before January 15, 2017, were identified using an electronic search in the PubMed, Scopus, and Google Scholar databases. Furthermore, a manual search of the related major journals was also conducted to identify more pertinent articles. The relevancy of the articles was verified by screening the title, abstract, and full text if they met the inclusion criteria. A total of 37 articles satisfied the criteria, from which data were extracted for qualitative synthesis.
RESULTS: Among the 37 included articles, 14 were without aging, 15 were natural or artificial accelerated aging, 7 were outdoor weathering, and 1 contained both artificial aging and outdoor weathering. Only 4 studies out of the 14 without aging had significant observations; whereas 9 articles with natural or artificial aging published significant results, and 3 out of 7 outdoor weathering articles showed significant changes in the evaluated silicone elastomers.
CONCLUSIONS: Despite the varying research, it seems that the single "ideal" maxillofacial prosthetic material that can provide sufficient resistance against different aging conditions is yet to be identified. Therefore, it is imperative for standardization organizations, the scientific community, and academia to develop modified prosthetic silicones possessing improved physical properties and color stability, limiting the clinical problems regarding degradation of maxillofacial prostheses.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.