A More Accessible Option for Fixed, Implant-Supported Prostheses
Zest Dental Solutions’ LOCATOR FIXED® provides efficiency and cost savings
John Poovey, DMD, began to offer dental implant treatment at his general practice in Grand Junction, Colorado, approximately 15 years ago because he was interested in the evolving field. However, over the past 3 years, implant dentistry has become the exclusive focus of his practice. It was not Poovey's personal preferences that led him to take this direction; it was the need he identified in his community. "Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, my practice was approximately half general dentistry and half implant dentistry," he says. "My partner and I realized that in order to best serve the community, we needed to fill this niche that was really unfilled at that point. Our community had plenty of general dentists, but it was underserved regarding implant dentistry, so we chose to focus on that."
That commitment to not only expanding access to care but also providing higher quality care was what led Poovey to Zest Dental Solutions' LOCATOR FIXED®. With LOCATOR FIXED, existing LOCATOR® Removable Attachment System patients can be easily transitioned to a fixed, implant-supported prosthesis by simply changing the inserts and housings and modifying the overdenture. This is possible because the LOCATOR FIXED system utilizes the same abutments and workflow as the LOCATOR Removable system, maximizing efficiency. "Zest took a system that nearly every dental professional is familiar with and that has established great traction in the world of dentistry, and they just built on it," Poovey says. "Implementing LOCATOR FIXED is easy because staff members are familiar with ordering it, discussing it with patients, working with it clinically, etc. It adds value to Zest's existing LOCATOR solutions by creating more options. As time has gone on, we have honed our pro forma statement for how we do things procedurally and what materials we use."
For those who aren't already LOCATOR Removable patients, Poovey notes that he can provide LOCATOR FIXED restorations for almost 50% less than the cost of providing traditional fixed, implant-supported prostheses. "When trying to help more patients with implant dentistry, in my experience, the economic barrier has always been significant," he says. "We have been searching for a mid-tier solution that can enable more patients to afford a fixed prosthesis. Statistically, we knew that a solution in the range of $13,000 to $14,000 would be accessible to a much larger cohort of patients."
Patients at Poovey's practice, which is now known as JP Dental and Implant Center, have been excited about the opportunity that LOCATOR FIXED presents to them. "It is a very good but affordable solution for many patients," Poovey says. "They are really excited about being able to receive a prosthesis that is fixed and feels secure at a much more manageable price point. Basically, we are capturing a segment of the market that was not being captured previously." In addition, Poovey emphasizes that the difference between fixed and removable solutions cannot be understated. "When you are able to give traditional denture patients a prosthesis that is fixed, they do not need to have material on the roof of their mouth, so it is much more comfortable," he says. "They can chew in a secure manner. Their tactile sensitivity is improved. We have had really positive feedback from patients regarding how happy they are with LOCATOR FIXED prostheses."
In addition to completing extensive clinical continuing education, Poovey and his partner, Brandon Wilcox, DDS, have been utilizing a service, Bill With Us, that provides expertise in navigating billing for medically necessary procedures related to dentistry. "We found that, in many scenarios, we could really help patients improve their overall health and their health outcomes by navigating through that process for them," Poovey says. "It has also allowed for patients to receive more idealized treatment within their financial budgets."
Of course, the original LOCATOR Implant Attachment System's proven reliability translates to supreme confidence in the LOCATOR FIXED solution. The LOCATOR Implant Attachment System is the most globally recognized and trusted brand for overdenture restorations, combining innovative patented technology with availability for more than 280 implant connection types. "The LOCATOR is tried and true," Poovey says. "Being able to confidently rely on it has been one of the most significant benefits for me. When we were beta testing LOCATOR FIXED, we were able to navigate and really get a good understanding of what worked, what did not work, and how to develop a pro forma statement as it relates to the patient and creating the best system and protocols."
Beyond the quality of Zest's products, Poovey points to the company's support as an important benefit for practitioners. "I have been working with Zest since the LOCATOR was first introduced, and they have been so successful because they have excellent outreach and systems that are intuitive to use," he says. The new 10,000-square-foot Zest Dental Solutions Global Education Center, which opened last year in Las Vegas, Nevada, provides even more value. "Zest has made a big commitment to the education process for dentists and their team members by allowing them to come in and acquire a real understanding of the different systems that the company can provide," Poovey says. "Overall, Zest has been very proactive about evaluating the market and ensuring that they are creating good products and education systems that are pushing implant dentistry forward."
Poovey hopes that all of this helps other dentists to follow his path and make fixed, implant-supported prostheses accessible to a larger segment of patients. "For dentists who have utilized the LOCATOR Removable Attachment System, the LOCATOR FIXED solution is a good segue to further their knowledge in this specialty," he says. "This is a really nice intermediary approach for anyone interested in reaping more of the benefits of implant dentistry for their patients and their practice."
Easily upgrade existing LOCATOR Removable patients to LOCATOR FIXED by simply changing the inserts and housings and modifying the overdenture into a supported prosthesis.
Existing LOCATOR Removable patients can easily transition from a removable to a fixed solution because LOCATOR FIXED uses the same abutments and workflow.
LOCATOR FIXED requires less bone reduction due to its shorter stack-up height when compared with screw-retained fixed systems.
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