How one high performance polymer is making metal-free a reality

October 27, 2015

Dental Lab Products magazine talks to Ricky Grillo, MDT and co-owner of Hybridge implants, about Pekkton high-performance polymer from anaxdent North America and Cendres + Metaux.

Earlier this year, anaxdent North America announced it would begin selling Pekkton, a new high-performance polymer material manufactured by Cendrés + Metaux. The material was one of the most talked about of the year, with its strength and flexibility providing a real alternative to metal. We recently spoke with Ricky Grillo, MDT about Pekkton. Here's what we told us:

01. What is your background in the lab world? 

My background is a German mastership in dental technology and science. I spent the first 15 years of my career in Germany and graduated in Cologne. Shortly after, I came to the USA, where I worked for two different laboratories before coming to another lab eight years ago. 

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02. Anaxdent North America recently began distribution of Pekkton (Cendres + Métaux), a new high-performance polymer, in the U.S. You’ve been working with it-what kinds of cases do you primarily use Pekkton for? Do you use the millable or the pressable version?

The case selection is really infinite. You can use it almost anywhere you would use alloys or zirconia. It combines for me the best of both worlds with very little negatives. I’m working with both methods, and both are good. The pressable version requires more skill and hands-on and is the more efficient route for me.

03. How long have you worked with Pekkton? 

For about six months now. I went to Europe and trained with Cendres + Métaux and the boys from Beever dental laboratory in England. They came up with a variety of really great processes that are applicable in [the] laboratory. The biggest advantage I see is as a bar material for our hybrid bridges. They came out fantastic.

04. What was your experience working with Pekkton?

It has been great. It is super light and very strong and is the perfect material for a hybrid screw-retained bridge. It’s very easy to work with, and it can be very cost-effective. Again, it combines the best of alloys and zirconia in the framework world. If this material would be translucent and would come in tooth colors, you could make anything out of it. Unfortunately, that’s not the case, and, therefore, it has to be laminated with either composite or acrylics.

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05. Why is Pekkton particularly suited to the work you do?

The environment for implant bridges is brutal. With missing proprioception, patients tend to display excessive bite forces. That can cause chipping and breaking on traditional designs. Pekkton has favorable compressive strength that works as a shock absorber without being flexible. It can be much more cost-effective and offers a wide range of design options.

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06. What are some of the other advantages to working with a high-performance polymer versus another type of material like metal or zirconia?

You can bond pretty much anything to it: it works as a shock absorber without being flexible, is very strong, can be sterilized and is radiolucent, non-allergenic and lightweight. It is impossible for us to make it non-passive. It always fits passive, which is key for us in the laboratory.

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07. What makes Pekkton different from other types of HPP?

Pekkton is the only HPP that has the right rigidity and composition to make bars with. The extra ketone molecule gets us the right composition for the indications we need. The support from Anaxdent and Cendre + Métaux and the whole integrity of the system and its high-end application was key. I found this is the only material that will do what I need for my approach. They are also going to come out with tooth-colored Pekkton. The option of a cost-effective pressing solution was also extremely attractive and should be for any smaller high-end laboratory or any other that doesn’t have a CAD/CAM system.

08. What kind of support were you offered?

Anaxdent has been really great about getting us materials and sending us lecturers. I very often call Germany and the team at Anaxdent and get tips and hints. The team in North America has been very knowledgeable, and if they don’t know the answer to my question, they find out. The materials are supreme-they’re expensive, but you get what you pay for.

09. What makes Pekkton a good solution for labs of all sizes?

The pressing version; bigger labs will probably be using the CAD/CAM solution. Smaller labs or labs without CAD/CAM could get the inexpensive press and be as attractive to customers as the big labs. You can make some great high-end cases with this little investment.

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10. What feedback have you gotten from dentists/patients?

Everybody was amazed. They were very surprised by how light it was and the real high-end look of it. Especially the version with e.max crowns bonded to them and the Anaxgum gingiva. Everyone pointed out how much more elegant and natural they look. We also create gingiva on the palatal side to integrate these bridges also from a “look-and-feel“ perspective. They loved the ease of use and handling it, and it is easy to change or add anything in case of tissue resorption for example. Not to repeat myself, but it has the best of both worlds in terms of framework of zirconia and alloys.