Metal-free dentures made from high-performance plastic
For a long time it was considered impossible to create a removable denture without metal, with the exception being the conventional full denture. But for several years now there has been a material that has started somewhat of a revolution in this area. This is PEEK, a group of high-performance plastics, which also includes polyetheretherketone.
PEEK is a high-performance polymer that has been tried and tested for many years. It has been used in medical surgery as a bone substitute in hip and knee replacements, as well as vertebral body replacements, thanks to its good mechanical properties and resistance to chemicals and high temperatures. This versatile semi-crystalline material has now also arrived in dentistry.
What are the advantages of prosthetic dentistry?
Metal-free restorations with excellent biocompatibility are manufactured with PEEK. This makes it ideal for patients who are allergic to wearing metal in their mouths. Combined with its bone-like properties and low weight, this bio-inert material is ideally suited for removable dentures. Most patients rate the comfort of PEEK dentures highly.
What makes PEEK so perfect for dental use?
There are many reasons why it is ideally suited for applications in the dental field. It has several advantages over some materials traditionally preferred in dentistry, such as gold or zirconium oxide. It is not only corrosion-free, X-ray transparent and resistant to wear and tear, but it also has elasticity that is similar to that of bone.
Are there allergies to PEEK?
After more than ten years in which the material has been used for dental implant restorations, there is still no evidence of allergic reactions from patients. The absence of allergies is due to the fact that PEEK does not contain fillers or additives, like colouring agents. The natural colour is greyish to brownish. As a result, the restorations fit well into the oral cavity and can be veneered in the best possible way, so that a high level of aesthetics is achieved.
How are PEEK dentures made?
The frameworks for metal-free dentures are made from industrially manufactured, high-purity PEEK blanks using CAD/CAM technology. The framework is designed by CAD software and then implemented in the CAM machine. The PEEK framework can then be veneered with appropriate tooth-coloured and gum-coloured materials. The result is a beautiful denture that looks natural because it matches the patient’s own teeth. It is also light, metal-free and comfortable to wear.