ZYGOMATIC DENTAL IMPLANTS
If you have been looking into getting dental implants, you may have come across a specific type of implant known as a “zygomatic” implant. Since this type of implant is relatively new, and very few surgeons worldwide routinely place this type of implant, chances are that you may not know very much about zygomatic implants and how they compare to traditional dental implants.
WHAT ARE ZYGOMATIC IMPLANTS?
Zygomatic implants are named for the bone that they are implanted into: the zygoma, which is commonly known as the cheekbone. There is a zygomatic bone on each side of your face, on either side of your nose. The zygomatic bone is much denser than the maxillary (upper jaw) bone. This provides a solid anchor for the implant. One of the main requirements for successful implants is to have an adequate amount of bone that can support both the implant and the crown or denture that will ultimately be attached to it. One of the main reasons for using zygomatic implants is because of a lack of maxillary (upper jaw) bone support, if it would be too difficult to place implants or if the jawbone cannot be augmented using bone grafting, such as a sinus lift. Since zygomatic implants are anchored into the zygomatic bone (which, unlike the maxilla, does not lose mass due to missing teeth or periodontal disease) a deficiency in maxillary bone is actually an indication that zygomatic implant surgery is appropriate.
WHY ARE ZYGOMATIC IMPLANTS USED?
Zygomatic implants are intended to support the replacement of missing teeth in the upper jaw. They can be used to replace an entire arch of missing teeth, severely damaged or decayed teeth, or teeth that have become loose due to severe periodontal disease. Additionally, zygomatic implants are an ideal choice for patients who are not candidates for traditional dental implants due to a lack of bone mass. Zygomatic implants can also be used in conjunction with traditional dental implants, to replace both the upper and lower teeth.