If you need a dental implant but don't have enough bone density in your jawbone for it, all hope is not lost! Zygomatic dental implants are a great option for those without enough jaw bone density to get implants without having to get a bone augmentation or bone grafting. These are an up-and-coming dental solution that is being widely accepted and loved.
What are Zygomatic Implants?
A zygomatic implant is embedded into the zygomatic bone (which is more commonly known as the cheekbone), effectively replacing teeth in the upper jaw. Whether you need an implant for damaged teeth or for a few missing or loose teeth, you can get these even if you aren't a good candidate for an implant (that is, even if you don't have enough bone density for it). This is because while traditional implants fuse with the maxillary bone, zygomatic implants are fixed into the zygomatic bone, which is a bone that is denser than the maxillary bone and doesn't lose bone mass (maxillary atrophy) because of periodontal disease or missing teeth. They have a lot of applications and have proven to deliver exceedingly high success rates. Zygomatic implants are great for:
- a few loose teeth (possibly because of periodontal disease)
- severely damaged teeth
- decaying teeth
- an arch of missing teeth
What Makes Them a Great Treatment?
Research proves the long-term success of zygomatic implants and shows that they are reliable and safe. Bone can atrophy after extraction of teeth, and this can be made worse over time by wearing dentures. When this happens, it might not leave behind enough bone volume or quality to make you eligible for traditional dental implants. If you have very little bone left and cannot get regular implants, you can still get zygomatic implants, and then get a fixed set of teeth secured onto them. This gives you a fixed denture instead of a removable one. Usually, 2(one on each side) to 4(two on each side) zygomatic implants are used, but this will be determined by your dentist (and the number of regular implants to be used). And even though the surgery is more complicated and longer than that for traditional implants, the surgery for zygomatic implants and the placing of the fixed teeth all happens in one day.
By using these along with traditional implants, it is also possible to replace both upper and lower teeth. They are also commonly combined with traditional implants in the front of your jaw and pushed to the back. Zygomatic implants are also considerably longer than traditional implants. And because of the solid bone in the cheeks, these implants have a high immediate stability that allows for immediate placement of the fixed replacement teeth (dental bridge).
Benefits of Zygomatic Implants
There are some obvious benefits that zygomatic implants offer:
- No need for bone grafts (rarely needed), bone augmentation, or sinus lift (Bone grafting can create more pain and swelling for you, and will prolong your treatment because of the time taken by the placement, healing, and maturation of it. You will also need to wear a denture for 3 to 4 months while the bone grafts heal. And if it doesn't heal properly, it might even be rejected by the body.)
- Avoids complications arising from bone grafts and other methods
- Shorter treatment (and more comfortable)
- Can replace loose teeth, severely damaged teeth, decaying teeth, and missing teeth
- The zygomatic bone provides a solid anchor point for the implant
- The zygomatic bone, unlike the maxillary bone, is denser and does not suffer bone loss due to missing teeth or due to periodontal disease
- You can get zygomatic implants even when you don't have enough bone mass available
- The implants are placed at an angle into the dense zygomatic bone. This means, you don't have to wait for the implants to heal and you won't have to be without teeth during the healing time. You can get dental prosthetics loaded immediately during the surgery.
- Also useful for the dental rehabilitation of cleft palate patients
- A 97-98% success rate
- Long term tooth support
- Faster healing
- Low maintenance
- The fixed replacement teeth (dental bridges) are attached to the implants on the day of the surgery itself
- While a traditional implant only support 1 to 2 teeth, a zygomatic implant can support 3 to 4 teeth
- Together, four zygomatic implants can support a full upper dental bridge
- These can also be used to salvage other failing dental implant treatments
Looking at the long list of benefits above, it is safe to say that zygomatic implants, though a newcomer in the field, are a revolutionary treatment modality that give hope to even those who have been denied every other form of implant. Zygomatic implants are definitely a great treatment!