The application of 3D printing PEEK materials in the dentistry
“The advantages of PEEK partial denture frameworks are many. It’s strong and lightweight for improved patient comfort; digital design matches the patient’s individual anatomy; and the metal-free denture framework is taste-neutral...”
With the introduction of computer designed and manufacturing techniques in dentistry, it has became possible to fabricate restorations, frameworks and appliances using modern biocompatable materials including alloys, ceramics and high-performance polymers. Many of these materials cannot be processed or can only be processed with great difficulty using conventional methods. One of these newer materials is the thermoplastic composite polymer known as PEEK.
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Polyether ether ketone (PEEK) high-performance polymer has been used in industry for many years and has also proven successful in many areas of medicine. It is now also finding increased uses in dentistry as a direct result of 3D printing technology.
PEEK is characterised by excellent mechanical and chemical properties. In medicine, it has long been used for the preparation of different kinds of implants. Artificial cranial plates, components of finger and knee joints or intervertebral bodies (spine implants) are just a few examples of the versatile use of the material in the area of long-term implantation. For several years, PEEK has also increasingly been applied in dentistry. Due to its combination of superior biocompatibility and ideal mechanical properties, the material is particularly attractive for dental restorations and it is ideal for 3D printing technology framework fabrication in prosthetic dentistry.
The advantages to the patient when using a PEEK partial denture framework are many. It’s strong and lightweight for improved patient comfort; digital design matches the patient’s individual anatomy; the metal-free denture framework is a tasteneutral (no metal taste); has no thermal or electrical conductivity; is x-ray and scanner friendly; and is non-allergenic. PEEK frameworks are also shock absorbent during chewing; and have a high resistance to abrasion and decay.