January 11, 2010
By DE Editors
When Dentronix, a Coltene/Whaledent subsidiary, was designing its new High Heat bite stick, it needed a material that could withstand the high temperature requirements of dry-heat sterilizers. It chose VICTREX PEEK, a high performance polymer used in many high-end medical applications, because of the material’s combination of properties.
A bite stick is an orthodontic instrument used to seat bands on a tooth. The orthodontist places the band on a patient’s tooth and then positions the bite stick so that when the patient bites down on the top portion, the metal insert helps slide the band in place.
“The most important requirement for the new design was the ability of the stick to withstand multiple cycles in a dry-heat sterilizer,” said Mark Van Meter, an engineer at Coltene Whaledent. “A dry-heat sterilizer heats the chamber up to 190°C (375°F). Within the chamber, however, temperatures can go up to 216°C (420°F). VICTREX PEEK polymer gives the stick the ability to withstand at least 50 cycles in the dry-heat sterilizer with no loss of properties, or change in shape or color.”
In addition to being able to withstand the high temperatures of the dry-heat sterilizer, the bite stick also needed to be able to withstand sterilization in an autoclave, as well as sterilization in solutions such as glutaraldehyde, peracetic acid and hydrogen peroxide.
For more information, visit Victrex.
Sources: Press materials received from the company and additional information gleaned from the company's website.