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Special Issues
July/August 2023
Volume 44, Issue 1

Seamless Transition From a Removable to a LOCATOR FIXED® Zirconia Solution for the Maxilla

David A. Little, DDS

This case illustrates the seamless transition from a removable implant prosthesis to a fixed implant prosthesis. The same legacy LOCATOR® (Zest Dental Solutions, abutments that were used to retain the removable implant prosthesis were utilized to support and retain the fixed implant prosthesis by simply switching the conventional LOCATOR housings and inserts with LOCATOR FIXED® housings and inserts. A 68-year-old man who was unhappy with his maxillary removable implant prosthesis was referred to the author's practice for the fabrication of a fixed implant-supported prosthesis. Digital scans of the maxillary arch (with scan bodies placed on the LOCATOR abutments), the opposing natural dentition, the occlusion with the existing maxillary implant-supported prosthesis, and all surfaces of the existing maxillary prosthesis were recorded. The data obtained from the scans was electronically sent to the dental laboratory along with detailed instructions for the fabrication of the definitive prosthesis with recesses for the chairside pick-up of the attachment housings. A polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) prototype was printed for the try-in to verify esthetics, phonetics, tissue contour, design, and occlusion. Following try-in, the definitive zirconia restoration was milled using CAD/CAM technology. The LOCATOR FIXED housings were picked-up chairside. The patient was pleased with his fixed implant-supported prosthesis.

Key Takeaways

A patient's existing LOCATOR abutments can be used to transition from removable to fixed implant prostheses. Because both the clinical steps and laboratory procedures are greatly simplified with the LOCATOR FIXED attachment system, prostheses supported by the system can be fabricated quickly and cost-effectively.

Staged treatment may be provided for patients with financial limitations. The patient can start with a removable prosthesis and then transition to a fixed implant prosthesis in the future.

These fixed restorations are retrievable; they can be easily removed and reseated for hygiene maintenance.

About the Author
David A. Little, DDS
Private Practice, San Antonio, Texas; Fellow, American College of Dentists, International College of Dentists, and American Society of Dental Esthetics

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