When exploring dental implants there are a number of factors to bear in mind, particularly if you’ve experienced bone loss. Why? Because regardless of technique, dental implants require healthy bone. This isn’t an issue if a patient is in good oral health and has sufficient bone to support implants; however, those with severe bone loss in the upper jaw may need an advanced option – Zygoma implants.
What are Zygoma implants and how are they different?
Traditional dental implants involve drilling directly into the upper jaw bone, which often requires a bone grafting procedure to ensure proper implant placement. Unfortunately, for those with severe bone loss in the upper jaw, such bone grafting techniques may not be suitable. Zygoma implants, however, offer an alternative. Instead of using the upper jaw bone as an implant anchor, Zygoma implants take advantage of the neighboring healthy cheek bone (i.e., zygomatic bone). Longer in size than conventional dental implants, Zygoma implants are designed to provide a secure foundation in situations where traditional dental implants may not be possible.
What are the benefits of using Zygoma implants?
Beyond giving patients with severe bone loss a viable implant option, Zygoma implants have a number of advantages over traditional dental implants. These include:
Immediate function (aka, “teeth-in-a-day”) – Zygoma implants are a “graft-less” procedure which expedites the entire experience allowing patients to leave with immediate aesthetic and functional improvements. When bone grafting is needed, patients may be required to wait up to 12 months for complete healing to occur before restorations can be placed. This is not necessary with Zygoma implants, as temporary restorations and zygoma bone implants can be put in place during the same appointment.
Faster recovery – Because the overall process is shorter, patients require fewer visits than are necessary with traditional implant treatments. In addition, they are able to return to work and resume normal routines faster because healing time is significantly shorter.
Improved bone strength – Zygoma dental implants are made of titanium which stimulates the surrounding bone to develop new bone structure via a process known as osseointegration. Not only does this help to secure the implant, it also strengthens the surrounding bone.
Minimally invasive – Unlike traditional implant techniques that require invasive bone grafting, Zygoma implants use 3D scanning for accuracy and are generally performed under IV sedation.
Am I a candidate for Zygoma implants?
Zygoma implants may be an option if you’ve previously been told you don’t have enough bone for traditional dental implants. Though the thought of anchoring implants to your cheek bones may be off-putting, the use of Zygoma implants reduces overall treatment time and is much less invasive than other dental treatments, making it a great option for those with severe upper jaw bone loss.
Where do I go from here?
Regardless of the method used, dental implant surgery is a subject that requires serious consideration. Contact any of our locations (Denton, Plano, Decatur, Gainesville ) to schedule a consultation. Drs. Stewart and Michael will assess your oral health and make a recommendation about the type of implants that are most appropriate for you.
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