A Full-Arch Restorative Solution with No Screw-Access Holes



We specialize in implant-supported and implant-assisted dentures at Wiand Dental Laboratory, where we have approximately 20 employees and handle removables only. We have fabricated nearly 2,000 All-on-X cases in the past 8 years, so we have a significant interest in new developments in the fixed detachable area. We work on a large number of hybrids, so we were excited to begin using Zest Dental Solutions’ LOCATOR F-TxTM late last year.

Because this new full-arch restorative solution does not rely on retention screws or peri-implant cements for fixation, it allows us to offer several major benefits to our dentists. The lack of screw-access holes in the prosthesis helps to strengthen the definitive and provisional restorations.

Additionally, chair time is reduced in several ways. If a patient fractures a tooth, usually a 30-minute appointment is required to open the access holes with a bur, remove the Teflon tape, and then unscrew the hybrid. The LOCATOR F-Tx, however, utilizes a removable tool that simply engages the prosthesis and pops it off, reducing the appointment time to only about 5 minutes. Delivery when the repaired prosthesis eventually is returned from the laboratory is quicker as well; the dentist simply snaps it back into place. There is no need to screw the hybrid back into place, fill the access holes with Teflon tape, and cap it off with composite again. Cumulatively, the dentist can save nearly an hour of valuable chair time while also making the process more convenient for the patient.

Repairs for conventional attachments also could cause the prosthesis to weaken because each time holes are drilled open, a different angle may be used, making the holes weaker. This is not an issue with the LOCATOR F-Tx; in fact, repairs are less likely in the first place because there is no access hole in the tooth.

Another advantage for dentists is the lower cost, which is a result of the attachment being constructed at a lower price point. Depending on the laboratory, fees can be approximately 30% lower for a prosthesis with a LOCATOR F-Tx.

In the laboratory, the workflow is basically the same. When we fabricate an immediate load provisional, the day of surgery everything is handled the same way with a LOCATOR F-Tx as with conventional attachments—the denture, surgical guide, etc. Designing the definitive prosthesis involves a similarly smooth workflow. It is important to remember cantilevers and ensure that the surgeon places the implants with a large enough anteroposterior (AP) spread to minimize any distal cantilevers and avoid any possibility of the attachment disengaging.

While the LOCATOR F-Tx is relatively new, we have used it in several cases so far and the feedback we have received has been positive. We look forward to continuing to utilize it to offer our dentists a more cost-effective and efficient product.

Written by Tom Wiand, CDT

Tom Wiand