After completion of soft tissue healing and full integration of bone and dental implant, an abutment is attached to the implant and an impression is made of the implant abutment assembly for construction of the prosthetic crown. Pending completion of the finished crown, the exposed abutment and implant margin can be protected by coverage with a healing cap.
Healing caps fabricated of PEEK-OPTIMA™ polymer protect the margins and provide the added benefit of affording a non-metallic, neutral colour similar to natural dentition. The biocompatibility means that the soft tissue gingival response is excellent.
Compressive strength is an important factor when choosing a polymer to replace the titanium, as the cap is acting as the tooth. The top of the cap, where the chewing occurs, is a very thin wall section, and high compressive strength is critical. Because of its polymer structure, PEEK-OPTIMA polymer is superior to other polymers in maintaining compressive loads in these kinds of thin wall sections.
PEEK-OPTIMA polymer is compatible with the cement used on the titanium abutment. The healing cap is bonded to a titanium abutment and since this is a temporary arrangement, it's important that the cap not be bonded permanently to the abutment. Whilst it is essential that the cap does not come off whilst in use, it is equally important that the dentist be able to remove the cap when it needs to come off. The bonding ability of PEEK-OPTIMA allows for this flexibility.