Purpose: Polymers are used in dentistry on a daily basis due to their mechanical, functional and aesthetic properties. However, such biomaterials are
subject to deterioration in the oral environment. Thus, this study aimed to evaluate the structural properties of five commonly used dental polymers to
determine their best clinical indications.
Methods: Four hundred-fifty samples of five dental polymers (polyethylenterephthalat - glycol modified (PG), polymethyl methacrylate (PA), ethylene
vinyl acetate(E), polycarbonate (PC), polyetheretherketone (PK) were prepared to investigate their thermal, structural and chemical characteristics
using energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS), Fourier transform infrared analysis(FTIR), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), differential scanning
calorimetry(DSC), thermogravimetric analysis(TGA), X-ray diffraction(XRD), and Shore D hardness test. Data were analyzed using one-way
ANOVA, Tukey’s HSD, and Levene’s tests (α=0.05).
Results: PK (87.2) and PA (82.4) displayed the highest hardness values and smooth surfaces, as observed with SEM (p<0.001). Silica was detected in
PK, PA, and E by EDS and XRD. The highest glass transition temperature was recorded for PC (145.00±2.00°C) and PK (143.00±1.87°C), while the
lowest value was measured for E (50.00±2.12°C)(p<0.001).The highest mass loss was detected for PG (91.40±1.40%) by TGA.
Conclusions: PA and PK polymers can be used for stress-containing treatments due to their mechanical properties. These two materials are also
advantageous in terms of plaque accumulation as these polymers reveal smoother surfaces than other groups. Insufficient physical and thermal
properties require the use of E with caution and only in limited clinical indications.