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Overdenture Implants: A Less Invasive, More Affordable Approach to Securing Overdentures
Prosthodontist Michael D. Scherer, DMD, MS, FACP, practices in Sonora, California, a small town with a large population of retirees. Many of his patients are older and on fixed incomes, and he has found two common factors in most dental treatment decisions: ever increasing treatment costs and complex medical histories that restrict the invasiveness of surgical procedures.
Dr. Scherer, who says he is proud to offer a modern approach to dentistry, says he regularly makes a point of making patients aware of their options using the latest digital technology, including intraoral scanning and cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) images. Further, he updates them on products that may be appropriate for their changing needs.
“Cone beam is standard of care in my practice. I use it on all my patients because it enables me to see anatomical features otherwise not visible, allowing me to better diagnose and treat patients. Cone beam also serves as a patient education tool by showing them a 3D visualization of their own jaw structure, and using software to demonstrate different treatment options by virtually placing implants with their existing denture.”
Because of his older patient population, many of Dr. Scherer’s patients are likely to be partially or completely edentulous, so his decisions often involve an implant-retained overdenture or partial. Also, those who have been edentulous for a longer amount of time may have little bone.
He says patients often seek him out because he offers a modern solution to denture and partial stabilization. To patients told they don’t have enough bone for dental implants he says: “Everybody has enough bone, but did your dentist have the implant to fit it?”
Dr. Scherer recommends ZEST Anchors’ narrow diameter implants for patients with narrow ridges because it has the benefits of traditional implant parts combined with a more aggressive shape, enabling immediate placement…and relief from loose dentures. It is something even his patients on limited budgets can afford and the procedure is less invasive.
The SATURNO™ Narrow Diameter Implant System is a one-piece narrow-diameter implant with an O-Ball connection featuring a patented, pivoting o-ring technology similar to the function of LOCATOR® that is part of the LOCATOR Overdenture Implant (LODI) system for securing an overdenture.
Dr. Scherer says despite advantages in price and minimal invasiveness, the SATURNO implant is not right for every patient, including younger patients with abundant bone who may want different options in the future, although he insists that fixed restorations such as bridges should not be regarded as “upgrades.” He explains, “If there is adequate bone bulk I will typically try to steer the patient toward a standard-diameter implant, but if he or she declines bone grafting or has a narrow ridge, is medically complex, or just prefers to have a minimally invasive surgery, I recommend SATURNO or LOCATOR Overdenture Implants.”
Dr. Scherer says he always presents both traditional and narrow-diameter implants but says there can be a very big difference in price. “The biggest difference is that for the same price as two standard-diameter implants for the surgery and to attach the denture, I offer four narrow-diameter implants.” He finds that patients love the combination of affordability and the effectiveness of the ZEST Anchors implant line.
Dr. Scherer's patients are sometimes referred by other dentists because of his extensive experience using LOCATOR and SATURNO narrow-diameter implants. He finds that his treatment outcomes are equally as good or even superior to those using standard-diameter dental implants on the market.
Having options such as LOCATOR and SATURNO narrow-diameter implants, says Dr. Scherer, enables doctors to minimize the invasiveness of implant treatment by avoiding costly regenerative procedures that also carry risk of surgical side effects. “Patients love how easy, simple, and minimally invasive treatment with narrow-diameter implants is,” he says, adding, “Immediate stabilization of loose dentures and partials leave patients with a lasting positive feeling about dental implants. ZEST Anchors has engineered effective, permanent implants that are affordable and simple. Both patients and dentists love them!”
ZEST Anchors LLC
2061 Wineridge Place
Escondido, CA 92029