Keywords: biomaterials, dental implant treatment, healing abutment, provisional fixed/removable prosthesis, polyether ether ketone (PEEK), reciprocated guide surfaces
Purpose: The aim of this study was to evaluate the clinical use of a high-performance polymer, polyether ether ketone (PEEK), as a material for use in provisional fixed dental prostheses (FDPs) that can be retained by reciprocated guide surfaces of hexagonal-shaped healing abutments during dental implant treatment.
Materials and methods: Patients requiring teeth replacement with dental implants for partially and fully edentulous cases in the maxilla and mandible were included. The provisional FDP was fabricated with hex castable copings and PEEK granules using the lost wax technique. The common path of insertion was established by reducing the coping that is in obstruction to the healing abutment. Retention was provided by the reciprocated guide surfaces of multiple hexagonal-shaped healing abutments.
Results: Twenty-three custom provisional PEEK FDPs supported by 166 implants in 20 partially and fully edentulous patients were provided during the treatment period. The mean functional periods of the provisional PEEK FDPs for maxillary and mandibular cases were 6.95 ± 0.84 months and 1.90 ± 0.62 months, respectively. All provisional PEEK FDPs functioned as intended for the entire treatment period. There were a total of 10 complications: 4 cases had resin and denture veneers debond from the PEEK framework; 3 partially edentulous cases required supplementary screw retention; and 3 implants in separate cases did not osseointegrate, requiring extended use of the provisional prosthesis. Two provisional mandibular PEEK FDPs with prolonged usage (over 2 years) were excluded from calculations. No fracture of the PEEK framework was observed.
Conclusion: The results from this study suggest that PEEK can be a suitable material for use in provisional FDPs during dental implant treatment. Prosthetic complications were frequent but were resolved intraorally. The reciprocated guide surfaces of multiple hexagonal-shaped healing abutments can provide adequate retention and resistance for edentulous cases during the implant treatment period. However, in partially edentulous cases, a prosthesis without cross-arch stabilization supplementary screw retention was required.