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    Technique: A new (digital) way to create a locator bar

    How to create a removable locator bar out of zirconia, CAD/CAM and esthetic expertise.

    What an exciting new way to create a locator bar! For the first time, the author has produced a full monolithic cement-retained locator bar that is removable. And it is, in the author’s opinion, absolutely beautiful and exactly what the doctor and patient ordered for this case.  

    Professional thought has been that this type of case would best involve a removable denture that, through the use of female/male locators and implants, then utilizing acrylic material, create a product that is relatively easy to clean for the patient. The cases are generally successful. The difference this time is that the case was fabricated using zirconia, not acrylic, and the esthetic case presentation recorded here is very nice, in the author’s opinion.

    The procedure for fabricating this bar is the same as an acrylic denture, other than slightly different steps than with denture locators. Technicians will find that the solution is almost the same for zirconia as opposed to acrylic, for the most part.

    Trending article: Technique: Fabricating full arch implant prosthesis

    Case study

    In Figure 1, the reader can view the six maxillary and six mandibular implants after mounting on the model. Vertical dimension was checked and it was decided that it would need to be increased. It was too short from implant to implant and needed to be 3-4 mm. The author made note of this and moved on to the scanning stage.

    Fig. 1Fig. 2

            Fig. 1                                                                      Fig. 2       

    When viewing and scanning the models, the author prefers the high definition Freedom Scanner (Fig. 2). Note the scanner handles articulation within. Many scanners cannot accommodate this aspect, but this one can, which is a true benefit to the lab. It saves time because articulation can be checked during the scanning process and the model does not have to be re-articulated. The technician can view the color image created by the Freedom Scanner (Fig. 3) when working with the program.

    Fig. 3Fig. 4

            Fig. 3                                                                      Fig. 4       


    A wax try-in was created without having to use a verification jig (Fig. 4). The doctor would try in the case in order to make certain there was no rocking and that the implants are engaged with each other. Usually there is a hole in the model for this type of case, but as we note here, that was not necessary this time. The author did need a bite block for dimension check, which, after it was verified, allowed the lab to send the tooth try-in to the doctor. In this finalized image, readers can note contour and shape, all verified.


    Luke S. Kahng, CDT
    Luke S. Kahng is an accomplished lab technician, specializing in high-end ceramic restorations. Luke has served on several major dental ...


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