The treatment with zygomatic implants is an advanced procedure.
We have here a list of frequently asked questions about zygomatic implants to help you better understand this treatment modality.
In this situation, not enough bone material is available to place dental implants. A few years ago, the most successful solution was the use of bone grafts, with a success rate of 80%. Today, however, the zygomatic implants’ success rate in the 90th percentile. The treatment involves using the cheekbone, or zygomatic bone, to anchor implants and place fixed teeth within 24 hours. Zygomatic implants are the safest option in this case. The surgical treatment terminates with a fixed denture anchored onto implants. Patients can bite apples, can eat a sandwich, and smile with confidence. The patient receives fixed teeth in a day, in opposition to bone grafting, where a few months are necessary. To summarize, there is a solution when bone loss prevents routine dental implant placement.
In certain situations, the bone of the mouth in the upper jaw can shrink and become significantly smaller to the point that sometimes it can disappear. This phenomenon is also called bone loss or clinically as “maxillary atrophy”. The consequence of this is that the bone separating the sinus area from the mouth is very thin, only a few millimeters thick. Maxillary atrophy may originate from systemic disorders too. Only a thorough diagnostic by a trained team of experts can identify the causes of bone loss. Additionally, implant loss or infection can lead to bone loss. As a result, the little bone left prevents the placement of additional or replacement dental implants. Bone loss has the potential to prevent dental implant placement.
Maxillary atrophy has significant consequences on the quality of life for the patient. Using a removable denture is complicated, time-intensive, and usually does not reach the function and aesthetics expected. Biting an apple, eating a sandwich, or smiling becomes arduous if not impossible with a removable denture. Furthermore, the prolonged use of removable dentures further aggravates the loss of bone in the mouth. The lack of mechanical stimulation of the jaw bone leads to accelerated loss of bone.
Zygomatic implants are longer than regular dental implants. They can measure up to 60mm, which is the length required to anchor them in the cheekbone and reach the upper front teeth position to sustain the fixed prosthesis (if necessary). Conventional implants may measure up to 16mm only. Zygomatic and regular dental implants possess numerous characteristics in common, such as excellent biocompatibility, and high strength. For the past 20 years, zygomatic implants have shown to be safe and reliable.
Regular dental implants allow for different treatment plans depending on each patient’s requirement: single teeth replacement, bridges on implants, or full denture. Zygomatic implants represent the only solution for full mouth rehabilitation when severe bone loss is present. A treatment plan could includes a maximum of 4 zygomatic implants. Other treatment options may require more than 8 or 10 regular dental implants. Overall, the reduced number of implants compensates for the increased complexity of the surgical procedure. Zygomatic Implants represent the last resort for dental treatment and bone loss. Over the years, the success rate of the method increased until becoming the gold standard now for the treatment of severe bone loss. More importantly, zygomatic implant treatments are now a solution for patients that didn’t have one before.
Zygomatic implants are part of a full treatment plan. The objective is to recover the quality of life of each patient. In most cases, this goes hand in hand with a complete upper denture fixed on implants. The impact on the quality of life is very significant. Eating, chewing, and laughing are not limited anymore. Socially, the outcome of the treatment is fantastic.
Patient usually realize they are losing their quality of life due to their dental problems. The diagnostic testing for zygomatic implants takes place during the first visit to the dental office. Before that, you may identify with several situations our patients described in their testimonials. From implant failures to progressive tooth loss, the quality of life of patients decreases over time. Having problems eating, biting fruits, or masticating are common. Speech and language articulation may also be affected by tooth loss. Finally, the use of a removable denture further lowers the quality of life and aggravates bone loss.
Having understood each patient’s complaints and history, the clinical diagnostic for zygomatic implants starts with a thorough oral examination. This is a visual observation of all areas of the mouth, teeth, gum, and structures around them. The tests are not invasive nor require anesthesia.
A panoramic X-ray is taken as well as a CT scan, such as a Cone Beam CT. Theses radiological tests allow visualizing the bony structures and assess the amount of bone available or lacking for regular dental implant placement. If one suffers from severe maxillary atrophy, in other words, if one does not have enough bone, zygomatic implants represent a safe solution.
These tests do not eliminate the need for other medical tests. For example, the anesthisiologist following you during the surgical procedure may need additional testing, such as allergies or blood testing. An essential element to understand is that these tests ensure that the treatment plan adapts to your anatomy and requirements. A thorough diagnostic provides the clinical team with the information they need to find a solution to your dental problems and recover your quality of life.
Before looking for the best professionals for zygomatic implants, a thorough, precise diagnostic and treatment plan is vital. This type of therapy should only be a solution when severe bone loss is present. The lack of bone preventing the placement of regular dental implants is the right indication. From a general point of view, the reason patients come seeking zygomatic implants during a first visit, is dental implant loss or prolonged use of a removable denture. So, if you are looking for an implant-supported set of teeth and may live with one of the situations mentioned above, you are in the right place. The doctor will take the time to understand your position and accurately diagnose it.
The treatment is thus patient-specific. It adapts to your anatomy and requirements. Zygomatic implant treatments are advanced treatments and only trained clinicians should perform it.
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