Flexural strength of polyether ether ketone high-performance polyether in comparison with base metal alloy and Zirconia ceramic.
Optimal flexural strength is a critical prerequisite for prosthetic frameworks. This study aimed to assess the flexural strength of polyether ether ketone (PEEK) polymer compared to a base metal alloy and high-strength Zirconia ceramic commonly used in prosthodontic treatments. Materials and Methods: In this in vitro, experimental study, 10 bar-shaped samples measuring 18×5×2mm were fabricated of each the PEEK polymer, nickel-chromium base metal alloy and zirconia ceramic. Half of the samples in each group were subjected to 5000 thermal cycles between 5°C - 55°C with 20 seconds of dwell time and 20 seconds of transfer time to simulate oral conditions. All samples then underwent three-point bending test. Two-way ANOVA followed by Tukey’s test were applied to compare the mean flexural strength of the groups with and without thermocycling at 0.05 level of significance. Results: The flexural strength of base metal alloy, Zirconia and PEEK was 1387.70±45.50 MPa, 895.13±13.99 MPa and 192.10±5.37 MPa, respectively. The difference was significant among the groups (p<0.001). Thermocycling had no significant effect on the flexural strength of samples in any group (p=0.306). Conclusion: PEEK high-performance polymer had a lower flexural strength than base metal alloy and Zirconia ceramic, and its flexural strength was not affected by thermocycling. PEEK seems to be able to resist masticatory forces in the oral cavity pending further in vitro and clinical studies.
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