Inside Dental Technology
Cost-Effective Precision Implant Overdentures Featuring the SFI-Bar
Making implants affordable empowers teams to treat more cases of edentulism
> Increased direct-to-the-public marketing of immediate implant restorative options has created a surge in the number of requests from fully endentulous patients. The more widespread use of implants, combined with the proliferation of CAD/CAM technology application in contemporary dentistry, has led to an explosion of treatment solutions available to address any situation encountered by the restorative team. While digital technology provides extraordinary accuracy and substrate integrity, clinicians must be aware of more cost-effective options in order to expand treatment to a much larger population segment.
The Stress Free Implant Bar (SFI-Bar®) system is an excellent implant overdenture option. Cendres+Metaux developed the bar system, and Sterngold manufactures the SFI abutments, which mate with most popular implant systems. Between November 2006 and April 2012, more than 4,000 SFI-Bars were placed intraorally throughout Europe and Asia, with a zero rate of remakes or complications.
The system is economically positioned between direct stud attachments (eg, Locator, ERA) and milled or SLM-fabricated bars.
The SFI-Bar is a modular system that connects multiple dental implants passively without soldered or laser-welded connections. The system is designed to restore the mandibular arch with 2 to 6 implants or 4 to 6 implants in the maxillae (Figure 1).
The following describes the system components. SFI abutment implant adaptor adapts to the specific implant interface used. The ball joint is secured with the fixation screw into the adaptor that will support the entire SFI-Bar assembly. Single ball joints support the tube bar between two implants. They may compensate for angulation of 15° or 30° between two implants. Double ball joints support two bars between three implants utilizing two stems. They are able to support a lateral angulation from 110° to 150°. Unlike the large ball joint, they’re designed with a half-shell casing. They also allow for vertical angulation forgiveness of 15° or 30° between two implants. The fixation screw secures the ball joints to the implant adaptor. They feature an internal hex of 1.32 mm and measure 5.30 mm in height.
The tube bar is made of Type V titanium, is 20 mm long, and features the female part (T) in pure titanium. This design features replaceable nylon retention inserts that compensate for potential transfer inaccuracies between the impression, model, and clinical delivery (Figure 2).
This “Erector Set” simplicity allows totally passive support and retention for the prosthesis.
If economics is a barrier to patient treatment, the system may be used over two implants with a single connecting bar. At a later date if the patient can afford 2 additional implants, the case can be converted to a 4- (or more) implant-supported prosthesis.
The SFI-Bar is relatively inexpensive compared with conventional gold castings and CAD/CAM options. The reduced treatment time compared with conventional or CAD/CAM techniques also leads to additional savings in costly chair time. Precision-milled components provide a precise quality of fit. Due to this manufacturing process, the physical and mechanical properties of the component materials can be controlled, which is difficult to achieve with conventional casting methods.
The finite element data and images were kindly provided by Dr. Ludger Keilig, Endowed Chair of Oral Technologies, University of Bonn, Germany.
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Disclaimer: The preceding material was provided by the manufacturer. The statements and opinions contained therein are solely those of the manufacturer and not of the editors, publisher, or the Editorial Board of Inside Dental Technology.