Research stay at the CUAS – 3D printing of dental abutments

I am Almira Ada Diken Türksayar and I am a dentist/prosthodontist, working as an assistant professor at Biruni University in Turkey. I came to Austria for a research stay at the Carinthia University of Applied Sciences as part of a fellowship program. The focus of this collaboration project is to assess the quality of 3D printed dental abutments made of PEEK (polyetheretherketone).

Dental prosthesis are an indispensable part of dental treatment and thanks to rapidly developing digital dentistry, the quality of the provided treatment is improving on a daily basis. Abutments are connecting pieces that join the crown – the replacement of the missing tooth – to the implants – the replacement of the tooth root. PEEK is a biocompatible polymer with a modulus of elasticity close to that of human bone which can be used for production of dental prosthesis, as an alternative to gold-standard titanium. In dentistry, we are used to working with milled and pressed PEEK material, but 3D printing has been proposed as a promising material- and time-saving alternative.

Until now, mostly large reconstruction prostheses have been produced with PEEK printers, but there is no clear data on whether it is also suitable for the production of small dental parts, such as abutments. The aim of our study is to compare the fracture strength of milled and 3D printed abutments. At the CUAS, I got the chance to use the very rare Orion Medical 3D printer. The key benefit of this printer is the thermal radiation, which allows the heat to penetrate the material and increase the diffusion between adjacent layers, thus achieving more uniform strength, higher density and stability. I have produced several dental abutments, which I will test for mechanical properties back in Turkey. 

I would like to thank the team of ADMiRE Research Center and CUAS for their support during this project and for all the opportunities they provided me. I sincerely hope that our collaboration will continue in new projects and I am looking forward to sharing my results with you.

Almira Ada Diken Türksayar