Simplicity Is the Key to Zest Dental’s New LOCATOR FIXED™ System
Having practiced dentistry for more than 45 years, Joseph J. Massad, DDS, who is renowned for his contribution to the profession regarding the method of positioning implants in relation to the neuromuscular neutral zone, is still adopting new technologies and developing new protocols for using digital algorithms in his practice.
"With the advent of new products and technology, dentistry has been afforded options for fabrication we never expected years ago. Digital dentistry has been hugely impactful in my clinical and teaching practice!" he exclaims.
While Massad acknowledges that dentures and full-arch implant prosthetics have long remained in the realm of analog dentistry, over the past several years he has evaluated and worked extensively with various intraoral scanners, CBCT machines, and 3D printers and has incorporated digital technology into his workflows. "From printing record bases to try-ins to final dentures, it has been a fun journey."
One new concept that has greatly impacted his workflow is the use of Zest Dental Solutions' new LOCATOR FIXED™ System. "My experience with LOCATOR FIXED has been extremely positive because it is very simple and much easier to manipulate than conventional screw-retained fixed dentures," Massad says. Instead of needing four to six visits to fabricate traditional screw-retained prosthetics, he can complete fixed full-arch cases in two or three visits with LOCATOR FIXED. Moreover, it utilizes his patients' existing LOCATOR abutments, allowing them to easily and affordably upgrade from removable to fixed.
"I find LOCATOR FIXED cases equal to other conventional fixed options in terms of functionality but with a degree of simplicity that is a breath of fresh air. For patients looking for a full-arch fixed prosthesis, or ‘permanent teeth,' I can choose screw-retained or LOCATOR FIXED. If there is a minimal cantilever and the patient wants a faster, simpler solution-maybe an older patient or someone traveling a long distance to see me-I lean toward LOCATOR FIXED."
"When you mention you are doing a ‘digital technique,' such as with this approach, patients get excited!" Massad says. "They recognize that use of the latest technology typically means improvement for their final smile. With LOCATOR FIXED, I think more patients will choose a permanent-tooth, fixed solution now offered by Zest versus sticking with a traditional, adhesive-supported denture."
"I explain to patients that using the LOCATOR FIXED system allows me to easily convert a denture/overdenture into a fixed denture at a reasonable cost," he says, adding that the traditional screw-retained prosthetic option is more expensive mainly because it requires more chairtime and the technical laboratory portion is more complex. "Telling a patient that they can be treated with a simpler, less expensive option leads to greater case acceptance."
LOCATOR FIXED is expected to hit the market in the beginning of 2023.
Joseph J. Massad, DDS
Private Practice, Tulsa, Oklahoma; Fellow, American College of Dentists and International College of Dentists; Regent, International Academy for Dental Facial Esthetics
Zest Dental Solutions