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PEEK dental caps are titanium alternative. (Materials and Assembly).

A supplier of dental implant systems sought an alternative material for its temporary titanium healing caps. The company, Lifecore Biomedical of Chaska, Minn., manufactures replacement systems for missing teeth.

Replacement begins with surgery that places the implant in the jawbone. A load-bearing abutment is attached to the implant. An impression is then taken of the implant-abutment assembly for construction of the prosthetic crown. Pending completion of the finished crown, a temporary healing cap protects the exposed abutment and implant.

Lifecore recently specified polyetheretherketone, or PEEK, supplied by Invibio Inc. of Greenville, S.C., for healing caps to replace earlier ones made of titanium. Michael Kalardie, the manager of implant technology at Lifecore, said that PEEK was selected because of better aesthetics, with a color that is similar to natural teeth.

He said that other factors were biocompatibility and acceptable compressive strength. Compressive strength is important because the healing cap functions as a tooth during chewing. Kalardie said that the average wall thickness for the cap is about 40 thousandths of an inch. Kalardie said that the bondability of the PEEK to the titanium implant is about the same as that of the titanium cap it replaces.

Invibio said that the PEEK-Optima grade of material has undergone bio-compatibility and biostability testing for its suitability for implantable devices. Invibio offers a "no-change" agreement with this polymer, in which it guarantees its specification and availability over an extended period of time.

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Title Annotation:polyetheretherketone, from Invibio
Comment:PEEK dental caps are titanium alternative. (Materials and Assembly).(polyetheretherketone, from Invibio)(Brief Article)
Author:DeGaspari, John
Publication:Mechanical Engineering-CIME
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:May 1, 2002
Words:238
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