With a new product for the treatment of bruxism and temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMD), RelaxBogen GmbH of Hamelin, Germany, combines design with biocompatible PEEK-CLASSIX polymer from Invibio Biomaterial Solutions. For more than a decade they have been used in implantable medical devices. Meanwhile they are also available in the form of the Juvora Dental Disc for non-metal denture frameworks. Now PEEK will bring considerable relief to people suffering from para-/dysfunctions of the jaw.
PEEK is a kind of semicrystalline aromatic polymer and its main chain of macromole is consist of aryl, ketone, and ether. PEEK has the properties of heat resistance, chemical stability as thermosetting plastics, and good processability as thermoplastics. At present, PEEK has been acknowledged as the best performance polymer material.
Bruxism and TMD are diseases of the masticatory organ, which are widespread and closely associated with one another. The German Dental Association estimates that up to 10% of men and up to 15% of women in Germany are affected by these conditions, especially in the age group between 35 and 45. Whilst bruxism manifests itself as an unconscious grinding and pressing together of the teeth during the course of the day, a TMD expresses itself primarily in an abnormal movement of the jaw and in tensions in the throat, neck and jaw muscles.
RelaxBogen, which was developed by an interdisciplinary team comprising of specialists in dentistry and physical therapy, addresses these diseases. It offers the therapist a new means of relieving jaw dysfunctions. The product can be used all day long and makes use of the anatomic conditions of the jaw in order to call the parafunction and the unnatural tension to the attention of the patient. At the same time, the medical device can promote relaxation of the muscles of mastication.
“The use of PEEK, along with other high quality components, has enabled us to develop an easy to use, lightweight and user friendly treatment alternative for the named disease conditions,” explains Jochen Lambers, dentist and developer of RelaxBogen. “As a result of the Invibio plastic’s characteristic combination of strength and long service life without premature material fatigue, it was possible to realise a minimalistic and comfortable-to-wear product, which will undoubtedly enjoy a high level of acceptance with the patients,” adds Christoph Seidenstücker, General Manager of RelaxBogen GmbH.
Thanks in part to these material properties and others, such as very good biocompatibility, design latitude, and the inconspicuous appearance of the neutral coloured material, new application areas for biocompatible PEEK polymers are being continuously developed, including spine implants, dental prostheses, or the treatment of traumas and fractures.