The latest advancement in fixed full arch restorations

A treatment solution requiring no screws and no cement

Edentulism is a major public health problem. It fulfills the World Health Organization’s  (WHO) definition of a physical impairment or disability due to important body parts (teeth) that have been lost. Patients with advanced decay and/or end-stage periodontal disease suffer for many years because of their edentulism. Edentulism limits a patient’s ability to perform two essential tasks in life: speaking and eating. To address this disability, the 2002 McGill Consensus Statement on Overdentures established as a minimal treatment objective a two-implant mandibular overdenture as the first choice standard of care to address the edentulous patient. The two-implant overdenture is an appropriate starting point for treatment of the edentulous mandible. Historically, Zest Anchors’ LOCATOR® attachment system has been accepted as the gold standard starting point treatment option for the edentulous mandible. Guidelines for the mandibular overdenture treatment should not be extrapolated to the maxillary arch. More sophisticated types of treatment options such as multiple implant bar overdenture and fixed hybrid overdenture prosthesis techniques have been employed successfully to meet the challenging demands of both arches.

The most prosthetically challenging and expensive reconstruction for both the mandibular and maxillary arches has been the implant-supported fixed prosthesis. For the average clinician, this treatment option is very demanding and complex. For the average patient, it’s unaffordable.

Advanced technologies available today allow the clinician to diagnose, treatment plan, and perform implant-supported therapy in a more sophisticated and profound way. Our patients are treated with greater accuracy, lower morbidity, and in shorter time frames to meet their demands. Incorporating digital treatment planning with guided implant placement has allowed the author to deliver the implant in a very precise and predictable manner. The author though has still been challenged by the prosthetic complexity required to finalize the full arch implant-supported fixed prosthesis. Recent developments by Zest Dental Solutions™ to address the challenging full arch implant-supported fixed prosthesis have had a dramatic impact on the time and simplification to deliver such prosthesis.

The new LOCATOR F-Tx® Fixed Attachment System

The LOCATOR F-Tx System reduces clinicians’ and patients’ time and cost by simplifying the restorative procedure with fewer chances of complications and treatment delays. The system utilizes no screws or subgingival cements to affix the prosthesis. Instead it features a secure snap-fit design utilizing a patent-pending design that works similar to a ball and socket, allowing the Denture Attachment Housing to securely snap into place and then pivot to the desired position. Once in place, it’s fixed for the patient and can easily be removed by the clinician at hygiene and maintenance visits. LOCATOR F-Tx offers us a new way to think about fixed full arch restorations by allowing us to provide our patients a simple, strong, esthetically pleasing, and timesaving treatment option.

My clinical experience with the LOCATOR F-Tx System has been extremely positive and rewarding. I have been able to reduce the clinical time to deliver a same-day immediate full arch implant-supported fixed prosthesis with six implants from 7-8 hours to under just 3.5 hours. We have had no postoperative prosthetic adjustments that have been required for any of our cases to date. I have used the system to rescue an All-on–4® screw-retained case that had a terminal implant failure and keep the existing prosthesis in function. Most importantly though, I have experienced an extremely high degree of overall patient satisfaction. In my opinion, the LOCATOR F-Tx is the next logical evolutionary advancement for the implant–supported, fixed-arch prosthesis.

Robert A. del Castillo, DMD, received his dental degree and his Certificate in Periodontics from Tufts University School of Dental Medicine. He has served as an Adjunct Professor, Department of Periodontics at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine. He is presently a member of the editorial review board for the Journal of Prosthodontics and is affiliated with the American Academy of Periodontology. Dr. del Castillo maintains a private practice, limited to periodontics with a strong emphasis on implant and regenerative therapies in Miami Lakes, Florida. He lectures extensively nationally and internationally and has published articles on regenerative and implant therapies.

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