Purpose: To undertake a scoping review of the available research on the application of polyetheretherketone (PEEK) in implant prosthodontics, map the available literature in order to highlight possible gaps in knowledge and, if possible, extract clinical guidelines.
Materials and methods: The literature on PEEK in implant prosthodontics published through August 2018 was identified with an online search of MEDLINE (via PubMed), Science Direct, Embase (via Ovid), and Google Scholar databases. Qualitative and quantitative syntheses were carried out for original research studies.
Results: The amount of published original research studies was found to be limited. PEEK was found to be applied as a material in the fabrication of implant-supported fixed dental prosthesis (IFDP) frameworks (43%), prosthetic implant abutments (35%), implant abutment screws (15%), and retention clips on implant bars (7%). Only 38% of the studies were clinical studies, while 15% were observational and 47% were in vitro. The studies identified did not permit the estimation of long-term survival nor success rates for any of the prosthetic components. The results only allowed a preliminary short-term assessment of PEEK IFDP frameworks, which presented satisfactory survival but alarming success rates over the first year of service.
Conclusion: In light of the paucity of evidence on the viability of PEEK as an implant-prosthodontic material, its use cannot yet be endorsed. Clinicians should heed the suggested protocols to improve mechanical performance and lower the incidence of prosthetic complications. Further high-quality research is needed for an enhanced understanding of the material's viability.