Introduction: Understanding the effect of aging and different disinfecting agents on the physical properties of pigmented maxillofacial silicones may help eliminate the current uncertainty as to the best follow-up suggestions for the patients treated with silicone prostheses.
Methods: One hundred fifty specimens (14 × 2 mm) were evaluated for colour and 75 specimens (30 × 10 mm) for hardness (total, 225 specimens). Five specimens were used for hardness testing in each disinfecting solution while 10 silicone specimens were used for colour evaluation. The samples were separated into 5 groups and the initial hardness and colour evaluations were performed and placed in disinfectant solution (neutral soap, effervescent tablet, 0.2% chlorhexidine, 4% chlorhexidine, sodium hypochlorite). A second set of colour and hardness measurements was taken after 48 hours of disinfection and 1,008 hours of artificial aging in a QUV-accelerated weathering tester. Two-way and 1-way analysis of variance with Tukey tests and paired t-test were used for statistical analysis (α = 0.05).
Results: Before artificial aging, the hardness value of the red pigment group was found to be significantly lower than that of the brown pigment group. After aging, the lowest Shore A value was seen in the neutral soap group, while the highest was seen in the effervescent tablet.
Conclusions: Based on the results of this study, chlorohexidine 0.2% was found to be most suitable agent for disinfection of the prostheses. Washing with neutral soap caused loss of pigment from the surface of the silicones. Sodium hypochlorite was found to have a colour-fading effect on silicone specimens.