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Inside Dentistry
June 2021
Volume 17, Issue 6

Educator Spreads His Passion for Overdentures

Expanded range for Zest Dental Solutions’ LOCATOR® Overdenture Implant System offers new possibilities

When he was in dental school, Michael Scherer, DMD, MS, spent time asking himself what it was about clinical practice that really made him excited. "At some point," he says, "you need to figure out what makes you tick." Scherer discovered his passion during a case that he treated as a student involving a patient who was a longtime acquaintance. She had been suffering from rotting teeth and abscesses. Scherer placed her in an immediate mandibular denture with two implants and then, after a healing period, delivered two LOCATOR® attachments with an overdenture. "I have been following her for 16 years now, and she is so happy," he says. "That was a motivator for me."

When Scherer speaks about implant-retained overdentures, he becomes noticeably excited. One of his goals in the profession is to spread that passion.

"Not every dentist finds implant overdentures to be as exciting as all-on-X or esthetic dentistry," he says. "In reality, however, there is nothing like when a patient who has worn a loose denture for 30 or 40 years receives a new implant overdenture and says something like, ‘Doctor, I cannot emphasize enough how amazing this is. It has literally changed my life. Thank you.'"

As Scherer seeks to spread the word, Zest Dental Solutions has made treatment with implant-retained overdentures much more accessible with the recent release of an expanded range of implant diameters for the LOCATOR Overdenture Implant System. In addition to the previously available 2.4- and 2.9-mm diameter implants, the company is now offering 3.5-, 3.9-, 4.4-, and 4.9-mm diameter implants. The system has also added an 8 mm length to the existing 10-, 12-, and 14-mm options. The new LOCATOR implant system offers the confidence that comes with one of the most trusted names in dentistry. By bundling the abutment, processing components, and implant, the company is able to deliver all-in pricing that can reduce the cost of LOCATOR implant and abutment pairings by 50% or more.

"Many clinicians, including myself, prefer to treat patients who have narrow ridges with narrow implants and patients who have standard ridges with standard implants," Scherer says. "The new expanded range exponentially increases the number of patients for whom I feel comfortable offering overdentures." The affordability and accessibility of the system unlocks a new range of underserved patients to overdenture treatment.

The 4.4- and 4.9-mm varieties have particularly aggressive thread patterns, making them ideal for immediate placement cases, which Scherer says account for approximately 80% of the implant dentistry cases performed at his practice. "We can expand the indications of implant overdentures for those clinical situations in which a patient will soon be edentulous," he says. The option that is 8 mm in length, he adds, can provide a comfort zone for clinicians when they are in challenging situations involving placement close to critical anatomy.

Zest Dental Solutions has also changed the shape of the LOCATOR abutments made for the LOCATOR implant, which has been established as an industry leading design. "The abutment has essentially remained the same, but they have redesigned the emergence form to make it more tissue- and bone-friendly," Scherer says. "Hopefully, this will increase the opportunities for clinicians to place implants at the time of extraction for a wider range of patients, which I believe is the best strategy. Subsequently, this can increase case acceptance as well as access to care for underserved patients because only one surgery is necessary."

As Scherer speaks of the doors that are being opened by this new expanded range, his passion is evident. It's why he chose to focus on implant dentistry in the first place. "This expanded range and what it allows me to do in my own clinical practice is really cool," he says, "but it's also helping dentistry as a whole to provide more solutions to patients."

Not content with only having an impact on his own patient base, Scherer has lectured around the country and internationally, and he operates Fast Track Dental CE. Last year, he was named chief clinical advisor for Zest Dental Solutions. This position really taps into both the academic and the clinical sides to best serve clinicians around the country and the world, improving access to implant treatment for patients everywhere and also furthering the excitement level for implant-retained overdentures.

"It is a unique, direct-to-the-dentist role," Scherer says. "I am able to educate dentists about digital technology, full-arch reconstruction, and everyday dentistry as a service through Zest Dental Solutions. I can join a conference call or email chain, review cases, help treatment plan, and follow throughout the entire process. How many other implant companies out there allow you to work one-on-one with a clinical advisor to coach you through the entire case? In addition, it's totally free for the clinician as long as it involves LOCATOR cases.

With the new expanded range of implant diameters for the LOCATOR Overdenture Implant System and some of the most robust support for clinicians offered in the industry, Zest Dental Solutions is really making a difference in improving access to treatment for edentulous patients that can significantly improve their quality of life.

Key Points

• The all-in pricing can reduce the cost of LOCATOR implant and abutment pairings by 50% or more, making the procedure more accessible to patients.

• Available in a range of diameters (2.4, 2.9, 3.5, 3.9, 4.4, 4.9 mm), they empower clinicians to treat cases with both narrow and standard ridges.

• The progressive diameter shape, self-tapping tip, and RBM-treated surface provide strength and stability in a variety of anatomical environments.

Contact information: Zest Dental Solutions • zestdent.com • 800-262-2310

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