My practice is based in an area where retirees who have complex dental needs and are on a fixed income are much more the rule than the exception.
Many of my patients have been seeing dentists for 50, 60 and maybe more than 80 years and are used to coming into the office to seek care. These patients are often “dentally exhausted” and don’t have the will or the financial means to go through complex rehabilitation with procedures such as bone grafting and sinus augmentation.
Additionally, many of these older patients have been edentulous for many years and are unaware of the potential options that modern dental providers can offer for narrow alveolar ridges.
Ron visited me in my office for a new patient exam begging me for help. As a 78-year-old who has been wearing dentures for 50 years, he was used to the frustration of wearing complete dentures without implant stabilization. Ron doesn’t know any better and forgot what it was like to be able to chew hard and crunchy foods. I asked him how he felt with his dentures and he said, “Dr. Scherer, I saw one of your ads that you can stabilize loose lower dentures with implants that are so small they can fit in little jaws!” He pointed to his mandible while saying this comment with the suspicion of a little boy.
After my initial examination, we used a cone-beam CT to determine that he has an extremely narrow ridge but could sufficiently accommodate 2.4mm ZEST LOCATOR® Overdenture (LODI) implants. I informed Ron and a quizzical look came upon his face and he told me, “Wow, really! I was told 10 years ago that I have no bone and could never fit a dental implant. The latest in technology is amazing!”
Fast forward and six months after he had his narrow diameter LODI implants he told me, “Dr. Scherer, you’re amazing. Can I give you a hug? Not only am I comfortable but I can eat anything. Thank you!”
Stories like Ron’s are common in my practice; so common that Ron has sent quite a few of his friends with similar loose denture problems. I find that treating patients with narrow diameter implants, similar to the ZEST LODI system, is such a pleasure because it dramatically improves their quality of life for minimal financial investment. Most narrow diameter implant systems are either a one- or two-piece dental implant design that includes the abutment and some include the parts needed for converting the denture into an overdenture.
Narrow diameter implants fit a niche within my practice where patients like Ron can receive high-quality treatment for less cost than standard diameter implants. These systems are often less expensive than standard diameter implants and with an all-inclusive design, allowing for fee flexibility that clinicians cannot have with traditional implant systems. This is a marketing tool within my community and has resulted in tremendous growth of implant overdentures within my practice.
Community outreach events and marketing the use of narrow diameter implants to stabilize loose dentures continue to bring in interested patients (Fig. 2). Staying active with your community is key and keeping up to date with the newest clinical options available for patients is critical. Offering narrow diameter implants, like LODI, to my patients, has resulted in tremendous growth and is a huge return on my initial investment that will continue to pay off for years to come.
About the author
Dr. Michael Scherer is a full-time private practice prosthodontist in Sonora, Calif. He is currently an Assistant Clinical Professor at Loma Linda University, a part-time clinical instructor at University of Nevada – Las Vegas (UNLV), and a fellow of the American College of Prosthodontists. He has published articles related to clinical prosthodontics, implant dentistry, and digital technology with a special emphasis on implant overdentures. Dr. Scherer also maintains “LearnLODI” and “LearnLOCATOR” - interactive YouTube channels on standard diameter and narrow diameter dental implant procedures.
LOCATOR® Overdenture Implant System by Zest Anchors, LLC
is a product growing in popularity for treating patients who wish to secure their traditional dentures or partials. Known for both its efficacy for use with narrow ridges by providing a less invasive and predictable implant, the LODI is a durable and cost effective solution for securing traditional dentures. Other features include a lower vertical height, which makes it ideal for fitting over partials. Also, the LODI features a two-part system that includes an attachment that is placed after the implant, enabling a replacement of the attachment in the case of wear over time. In addition, the system offers an alternative to bone graft for patients and can often result in a pain-free recovery that is available for the patient’s immediate use.
Continue reading to learn how LODI is the answer for edentulous patients.
By Terri Lively
The edentulous patient has more options than ever before. One of the best and most effective are implant-retained overdenture options. However, when you mention implants to many patients, you typically get the following concerns:
The Zest Anchor’s LOCATOR® Overdenture Implant System (LODI) is a great option for patients with these concerns. It provides patients with a less invasive and cost effective solution for securing their dentures. Additionally, it provides you, the clinician, with a more durable and predictable implant-retained overdenture product.
Here are four reasons that the Zest Anchor’s LOCATOR® Overdenture Implant System is a great option from the patient’s perspective:
1. They require a less invasive procedure.
The Zest LODI system makes a very small incision for the installation of the implant in patients with good amounts of gingiva, so there is no open wound or sutures required after surgery. Many patients have little to no post-operative pain, and those that do usually need only a couple of Motrin or ibuprofen to manage what they do have.
2. They are more affordable.
The costs associated with some denture programs can be prohibitive for patients. The Zest LODI system is more affordable, opening up the option to a larger base of patients.
3. They fit better.
One of the fastest growing markets in implants is the patient who wants to replace or modify their ill-fitting traditional dentures or partials. Zest LODI fit over your remaining natural teeth and roots, or any other dental implants you may have, giving you a custom-fit with a more secure anchor.
4. They are stronger and more reliable than traditional dentures.
One of the main reasons that patients who need dentures want them is to improve their quality of life. One of the best things about overdentures is how easy and strong they are when compared to regular dentures. Secured by an implant anchor, LODI overdentures enable patients to eat the foods they love without worry.
Patients that are particularly well served by the LODI system are those with narrow alveolar ridges or those with a removable partial denture. The addition of this implant system to one’s armamentarium makes it possible for the clinician to serve this growing market with an overdenture system that greatly improves his or her patient’s quality of life.