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Ryan Peters, DMD
Zygomatic Implants
Northern Virginia Surgical Arts
. https://www.novasurgicalarts.com/

Zygomatic Implants

Zygomatic Implants

What Are Zygomatic Implants?

Zygomatic implants were first brought into the implant scene in 1988 by Dr. Branemark. Although originally designed as treatment for ablative defects, over the last decade these implants have gained traction as a dependable solution for non-removable, implant-supported dentures in the upper jaw. 

They are meant to replace a full complement of teeth in the upper jaw. In contrast to traditional dental implants that rely only on your upper jaw bone to obtain their stability, zygomatic implants predominantly gain their stability from the zygomatic bone, better known as the cheekbone. This abundant area of bone provides an optimal spot for implants to gain their primary stability, arguably the most important factor in implant success.

Benefits of Zygomatic Implants

Though this form of treatment is relatively new and hasn’t been compared to other dental implant devices, many have reported positive results related to the procedure. Some of the benefits of this procedure that have been noted so far include:

  • They can be used with insufficient bone – When other dental implants are installed, they are typically placed onto the maxillary bone which means that a patient needs to have a sufficient bone mass to support the implant. Because zygomatic implants are placed into the zygomatic bone, they don’t need substantial or plentiful bone mass in order to be integrated successfully.
  • They provide immediate results – Due to the way they are designed, you will have the potential to have teeth on your implants instantly. In these select cases, you will be able to use your teeth even while the implants are healing. Zygomatic implants provide the opportunity to minimize – or even go without – any time in between having your teeth removed and an implant-support denture placed.
  • They decrease the total treatment time – When there is little remaining bone, conventional implant therapy requires bone grafting and sinus augmentation, which ultimately take more time and expense. Zygomatic implants not only provide a more immediate result, but also eliminate need for additional surgeries. 
  • They have high success rates- Some dental implants have a success rate of about 90-95% in a 10 year period. Zygomatic dental implants have a 97-98% success rate around a 12 year period. This means that not only do they last a lot longer than other dental implant devices, but they are also much more successfully implemented.  Next month’s article will go into detail about the procedure, including what you will need to do afterwards, and also help you find out if you are an ideal candidate.

The Procedure

The zygomatic implant procedure is fairly straightforward and tends to be simple once a plan is created. Before the procedure can begin, x-rays will be taken of the patient’s mouth so that doctors can better understand how to place the implant according to the amount of bone loss that has occurred. From there, the procedure goes as follows: 

  1. The patient is put under an anesthesia.
  2. Doctors will place implants into the zygomatic bone at an angle and make sure they are secure and in the correct position.
  3. Depending on stability of the implants, a dentist will fit the denture to the implants for use so you can start eating and smiling as soon as possible 

This procedure is completed in one visit so you will not have to come back for any additional procedures in the following weeks. Though your surgeon will likely schedule follow-up appointments with you to make sure that the implants have settled in properly. Like traditional implants, additional surgeries may be required if implants need to be uncovered or complications arise, although unlikely. Your surgeon will be working with a dentist in effort to have a denture fitted to your implants as soon as possible. This can be as early as the same day of surgery, where you can be walking out of the office with a functional denture and smile that day.

After The Procedure

In the days following your procedure you may notice discomfort, swelling, bruising, and bleeding. These are all normal symptoms and don’t need additional treatment unless they persist for an extended period of time after your procedure. You may want to begin icing your face for the first two days after your procedure in order to lessen the appearance of swelling or bruising. 

Taking care of your implants after your procedure is incredibly important as you want them to be in the best condition possible for as long as possible. After you are home, surgeons recommend that you:

  • Don’t touch, probe, or otherwise disturb the surgical area. 
  • Do not smoke for at least three weeks following your surgery. 
  • Brush your teeth but do not use toothpaste for the first four days following your procedure.
  • Do not use a Waterpik to clean your teeth.
  • Don’t blow your nose for three weeks following your surgery.
  • Sneeze with your mouth open to limit disruption of your healing sinus.   

If you have any additional questions about your post-operative oral care it is best to consult with your surgeon and they will direct you accordingly. If your dental implant feels loose or as though it’s falling out, contact your surgeon immediately. 

Who is an Ideal Candidate?

Zygomatic dental implants are perfect for those who are not candidates for other types of dental implants due to insufficient bone mass or large maxillary sinus cavities. This is because they are anchored to the facial bones instead of to any dental structures. Most patients that undergo this procedure will not need bone grafting or other specialized add-on treatments or procedures to obtain a successful final result. Zygomatic implants therefore cut-down on treatment time and provide high-quality results.  

If you are wondering if you are a candidate for this surgery, you should consult a maxillofacial surgeon for their professional opinion. 

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