Locator Attachments in Overdentures?

Dr. H asks,

I have been doing mandibular dental implant supported overdentures for some time. My standard design is for an anterior bar supported by 3-4 dental implant fixtures. I use a central clip and 2 distal ERA or preciclix attachments.

We have a new oral surgeon in town who feels locator attachments directly picked up in the overdenture is a superior restoration. I would appreciate feedback because we are starting a new case soon. How about this approach for a maxillary overdenture? Are they retentive enough for a horseshoe design?

10 thoughts on “Locator Attachments in Overdentures?

  1. Chad in MO says:

    Locator, Locator, Locator.

    Great abutment. Very simple to work with. Can easily be picked-up chairside. The problem you will have with Locator will not be enough retention but too much retention. I would suggest leaving the black processing rings in for 7-10d for the patient to adjust and then bring them back in to place the pink or green or light blue, sometimes a combination is best suited.

    We suggest 4-6 implants in the maxilla and 2-4 in the mandible these decisions are based on many factors including site prep, finances, denture construction, etc.

    Good Luck

  2. Dr.R. Mosery says:

    Your design is sound. The locator attachment used in conjunction with the bar and central clip will work great. Just substitute the locator for the era’s. I’m quite certain you will never use the era attachment again after using the locator.Don’t give up the bar design for a bunch of single standing locators,especially on the upper.Placing 4 implants on the maxillary arch will give you a nice result .If you’re going to place 6 you might as well place 8 and do a full fixed case .
    Good Luck and enjoy the locators!

  3. Dr Bruce G. knecht says:

    Locators are great for poor intraarch space. To place a bar, you need space and this is sometimes difficult in immediate extraction cases. If a bar is placed a lot of times the teeth fx off due to the bite. locators are also good due to poor implant positioning. Trying to seat a bar with implants in different directions is difficult and may not be passive.

  4. Dr. R says:

    I agree with all of the gentlemen above. Locator is a phenomenal abutment and I haven’t used an ERA since I first used a Locator.

    If you do run into a situation that Dr. Knecht described where the implants have been poorly placed you might want to consider using a cad/cam milled bar. They usually fit on any system and are made from a solid piece of titanium so you don’t have to worry about sending the bar back multiple times. I know some advanced labs perform this service and 3i does as well.

  5. Morris Bitzer DDS says:

    For Dr. Mosery: What type of bar design do you like for a Maxillary overdenture. Can an open palatal design work well? (transpalatal bar/horseshoe)

  6. Dinh X. Bui says:

    Please keep in mind that with locator, you only need 3 implant maximum. The reason is the retention. Patient will NOT be able to remove the denture otherwise. The implant should be parallel with maximally 15 degree offset. I have done locator for the last five years (since Zest introduced the abutment). Trust me, patient will appreciate that we save them money and give them the best services available.

  7. Chedid says:

    I have placed 4 3I fixtures on the maxilla with immediate placement of locators. The locators were activated to 20N/cm at surgical time since the plan was to make a maxillary implant supported overdenture. However, few days after surgery, the patient changed he mind and wants ‘fixed teeth”. My plan now is to add 2 implants in order to give enough support for a total bridge; However, I am concerned about the removal of the locators, especilly after they have been activated over the implants. what is your advice and what would be the best way to unlock the LOCATORS without damaging the implants’ stability.

  8. barth says:

    when the locators , even 2, are not 100% parallel you can forget it, imposible for the patient to remove his denture; of course we check always the models and the impressions, we work in 100% perfect conditions.

  9. christo says:

    lets not forget, you gungho dentists, that you must look to the evidence for your designs. Fixed and removable should follow indications not implant numbers, implant numbers should be biomechanically determined, and your patients will appreciate long lasting restorations. Agreed 2-4 against 4-6, but please be careful of 3 in a maxilla. you are asking for trouble mate.

  10. christo says:

    to answer chedid, a few tips for removing your locators. a light tickle with the ultrasonic on the tool tip not the implant, and failing that, you need some rotational tapping, like a crown remover. A matrix band around the tool, and a few light taps. Failing that, refer to someone with more skill/qualifications. A great example to reinforce why implants need to be positioned to allow for future changes. ORAL SURGEONS LISTEN UP!!!! Those surgeons love poor excuses for sloppy positions.


Leave a Comment:

Comment Guidelines: Be Yourself. Be Respectful. Add Value. For more details, read our comment guidelines. Though we require an email to comment, we will NEVER publish your email.
Required fields are marked *

Posted in Implant Supported Overdentures.
Bookmark Locator Attachments in Overdentures?

Videos to Watch:

Titanium Mesh for Ridge Augmentation

The use of titanium mesh is a reliable method for ridge augmentation to provide adequate[...]


Watch Now!
Implant Grafting Techniques: Demineralized Sponge Strip and Tunneling

This video reviews several unique grafting and surgical techniques, including the use of demineralized cancellous[...]

Watch Now!
Mandibular Fixed Screw Retained Restoration

This video shows the use of a surgical guide for a mandibular fixed screw retained[...]

1 Comment

Watch Now!
Clinical Tip for Fixation of a Collagen Membrane

This video provides a clinical tip with regards to the fixation of a collagen membrane.[...]

Watch Now!
Lower Molar Extraction with Graft

Video showing lower left first molar extraction, followed by a socket graft, and then immediate[...]


Watch Now!
Maxillary Bone Reconstruction

This video demonstrations Maxillary Bone Reconstruction using Subnasal Floor Elevation and an Osteotome Closed Approach[...]

Watch Now!
Infection of Lower Premolar: Extract and Place Implant

In this video, the lower left 2nd premolar was extracted due to infection, and implants[...]

Watch Now!
Flapless Immediate Implant and Provisional

This video shows a technique showing using the patient's own tooth as a provisional at[...]

Watch Now!
Extraction and Immediate Implant with Luxator LX

Extraction of tooth #8, using Luxator LX, and then an immediate implant and provisional.[...]


Watch Now!
Dealing with the Implant Gap

This short video discusses how to best deal with the gap after immediate implant insertion[...]

1 Comment

Watch Now!
Lower Right Molar Extraction & Immediate Implant Placement Using i-PRF

In this video, the lower right second molar was extracted and grafted with i-PRF and[...]


Watch Now!
Maxillary Implantation with Treatment of Chronic Sinusitis

This video shows two cases where implants were placed following treatment of Sinusitis. [...]


Watch Now!