Gone are the days when if you had a gap in your smile because of a missing tooth, you just had to deal with it. Today, you can just get a device (implant) implanted into your jaw by surgery and use that to support a fake tooth.
But even though you might have lost a tooth, you still need to have strong bone tissue to be able to provide a stable foundation for an implant. If you have worn dentures for the most part of your life, you have been missing teeth for a long time, or you have a congenital birth condition, your jawbone may have lost some bone density and might not have enough bone mass to support an implant. Bone loss can make it necessary to go through complicated and time-consuming bone grafting procedures to make up enough bone mass for you to get an implant. But even for those with severe bone loss in their upper jawbone, implants can still be gotten. These are zygomatic implants- anchored into the zygomatic bone instead of the maxillary bone.
Top 3 Causes of Severe Bone Loss in Upper Jaw
There are 3 main reasons why severe bone loss happens in the upper jaw:
The jaw bone forms and sticks around because there are teeth. If no teeth are formed during development, the upper jaw might not form properly. This makes it hard to get implants.
Missing teeth for a long time
Teeth are why bone forms and sticks around. So naturally, if you lose teeth for some reason and don't do anything about it for a long time, the bone that has been supporting those teeth begins to melt away, not leaving behind enough to hold an implant.
Wearing dentures for a long time
Wearing dentures for long periods of time can actually accelerate bone loss partly because of natural bone reduction from missing teeth and partly because using dentures can cause trauma to the underlying bone.
What are Zygomatic Implants?
Like we said above, zygomatic implants are (much longer) dental implants that are driven into the cheekbone (the zygoma) instead of the jawbone, and then they form a stable base for the replacement teeth. One zygomatic implant can support three to four new teeth, and with just four of these implants, you can support the entire upper arch.
Zygomatic implants will give you stable, durable new teeth and you will be able to chew, talk, and smile like before while having to do no more than take care of them like you would take care of real teeth.
Can I really get Zygomatic Implants even if I have severe bone loss?
Of course! Since these implants are anchored into the zygomatic bone, which is much higher up into the mouth, and denser than the maxillary bone, they are more reliable. The zygomatic bone also does not atrophy like the maxillary bone.
If your doctor has ever told you that you are not a good candidate to get an implant because you don’t have enough bone for it, you can still get zygomatic implants for your upper jaw. These are the perfect alternative to bone grafting procedures for those with a severely resorbed jawbone, and they cause minimal surgical trauma because just 4 implants will fix your entire upper arch. That also translates to a shorter treatment and lower cost.
And if you ever feel like your face has collapsed a little from losing jawbone density due to aging, tumors, or atrophy, then zygomatic implants will also help you improve your jaw structure and your overall facial appearance. Talk about a bonus!
Why the Zygomatic Implant is a Great Option for Patients with Severe Bone Loss
While it is evident that zygomatic implants help those with severe bone loss get implants, let's look at it this way. What would happen if zygomatic implants did not exist? Without zygomatic implants to the rescue, those with a severely resorbed maxilla would have no option but to go through invasive grafting procedures to achieve an adequate bone volume so that they would be able to get traditional implants. That would increase treatment time and result in more surgical sites in the mouth.
With that said, zygomatic implants are a safe, predictable, and less invasive way to get implants if you suffer from severe bone loss. The lower cost and shorter treatment period are just an added advantage to that!
Read more blogs:
Zygomatic Implants and What Makes Them So Great