Journal of Prosthodontic Research
Online ISSN : 1883-9207
Print ISSN : 1883-1958
ISSN-L : 1883-1958
Original Articles
Finite-element analysis and optimization of the mechanical properties of polyetheretherketone (PEEK) clasps for removable partial dentures
Tzu-Yu PengYuki OgawaHiroyuki AkebonoShogo IwaguroAtsushi SugetaSaiji Shimoe
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2020 年 64 巻 3 号 p. 250-256

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Purpose: Polyetheretherketone (PEEK), a high-strength, aesthetic, and non-allergic thermoplastic polymer, recently became a candidate for replacing metallic components in dental prosthesis. However, as PEEK is flexible, the need for retention presents a key challenge in terms of its clinical application. In this study, clasps prepared using PEEK were optimized and evaluated to provide the mechanical properties required by dentures.

Methods: Seventy-two three-dimensional rod-shape models, based on four thickness/width ratios, three base widths, and six taper ratios were created. These models were analyzed using finite-element methods to determine which modified clasp arm shape provided the most appropriate mechanical properties. Three shape-optimized PEEK specimens and one standard-shape Co-Cr alloy specimen were then fabricated. Constant-displacement fatigue testing was performed to calculate load values and deformations after ten years of clinical use.

Results: Shape optimization indicated a maximum stress concentration that was consistently located at the base of the specimen, a correlation between mean load values and thickness that was greater than that with the width, and a correlation between taper ratio and mean load values. Fatigue testing showed that although PEEK exhibited significantly lower average load values than the Co-Cr alloy, these were sufficient for clinical use. All specimens exhibited significant deformation during the first period of cycling; however, there was no significant difference in the deformation between the two materials after fatigue testing.

Conclusions: PEEK exerts fewer stresses on abutments compared to standard-alloy clasps, provides adequate retention, and satisfy aesthetic demands, indicating that PEEK presents a promising alternative to conventional metal clasps.

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© 2020 Japan Prosthodontic Society
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