Incorporating LODI into a Prosthodontics Practice
Overcoming the negative perception of minis using narrow-diameter implants
As a prosthodontist who is board-certified, I am constantly challenged with patients who are referred to my office with advanced level needs and those with problems that, frankly, many dentists just don’t want to deal with. Whether it’s flat ridge edentulous cases or patients with difficult management conditions, every day is a challenge, but it is a privilege to be able to offer these services to my community.
I needed a solution for patients that have been wearing dentures for many years with little bone and no interest in bone grafting techniques to rebuild their resorbed ridges. I talk with my surgical colleagues often, and the negative perception of “minis” is quite prevalent throughout specialist groups. In my combined surgical/prosthetic practice, I know this perception well and had the same views until I realized how many of my patients went elsewhere for narrow-diameter implants to help retain their loose dentures.
I held out for some time, waiting for the marketplace to mature and for the research body to grow larger. Today, the supporting literature has grown and implants with narrow diameters have success rates similar to that of standard diameters.1 Additionally, I had a feeling that an implant less than 3 mm would work well for my overdenture practice but just wasn’t satisfied with the current designs on the market. I didn’t want one implant that does multiple tasks marginally; I wanted one implant that does one task incredibly well. When ZEST Anchors introduced the LOCATOR® Overdenture Implant (LODI) System, I knew that they had developed a design that I could trust with my demanding patients. Narrow-diameter implants, like ZEST LODI, have become more accepted by the prosthodontic community as a viable long-term alternative option to standard diameter implants.2
I have been placing these implants for 2 years and have had tremendous success within my clinical practice in terms of long-term implant survival and patient referrals within the denture population. Previously, patients walked out with two options: either a $20,000 four- to six-implant fixed option or a $10,000 two-implant overdenture option. Today I offer them three options: the first two, and now the minimally invasive narrow-diameter approach. I offer four LODI implants for $5,000 to stabilize an existing denture and patients are coming in to see me specifically for this service referred from other happy patients. This approach resulted in a 20% increase in my practice revenue over last year and in countless numbers of happy patients. Happy patients send their friends.
1. Sohrabi K, Mushantat A, Esfandiari S, Feine J. How successful are small-diameter implants? A literature review. Clin Oral Implants Res. 2012;23(5):515-525.
2. Bidra AS, Almas K. Mini implants for definitive prosthodontic treatment: a systematic review. J Prosthet Dent. 2013;109(3):156-164.
• Two-piece design allows a clinician to replace worn attachments, control prosthetic height, and provide future restorative options
• 2 years of high clinical success rates
• Solid Ti-Alloy implant with contemporary moderately-roughened (RA/SA 1.5µm) resorbable blast media surface
• Two diameters (2.4 and 2.9 mm) and three lengths (10, 12, 14 mm)
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About the Author
Michael D. Scherer, DMD, MS, FACP, is a full-time private practice prosthodontist in Sonora, California. He is currently an assistant clinical professor at Loma Linda University, a part-time clinical instructor at University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV), and a fellow of the American College of Prosthodontists. Dr. Scherer maintains “LearnLODI” and “LearnLOCATOR,” interactive YouTube channels on standard-diameter and narrow-diameter dental implant procedures.