Pterygoid Implants vs Zygomatic Implants?

With continued innovative technology introductions, your dentist can still help you get dental implants even if you do not have enough density in your jawbone to support them. Previously, bone grafts and sinus lifts have been used to reverse the jawbone shrinkage and add new bone mass. If you want to avoid these additional procedures, you may be able to get zygomatic and pterygoid implants instead. These alternative implant posts can be used when you have suffered from bone loss, allowing you enjoy a healthy smile and full functionality.

How Do Zygomatic and Pterygoid Dental Implants Work?

Unlike traditional dental implant post that are surgically placed in the jawbone itself, zygomatic and pterygoid implants are anchored into bones that are never resorbed, meaning there is no bone loss. Zygomatic implants integrate with the zygomatic bone that is part of your cheek, while pterygoid implants are placed in a bone that forms part of the base of your skull. To reach these areas, zygomatic and pterygoid implants are considerably longer than traditional implants; zygomatics are 30 to 55 mm in length, while pterygoids are usually 15 to 20 mm.

What are the Benefits of Zygomatic and Pterygoid Dental Implants?

Your dentist may recommend using one of these special dental implants instead of a conventional bone graft. There are several advantages for both you and your dentist, such as:

  • Fewer Surgeries- Using zygomatic or pterygoid implants eliminates the need for bone grafts in cases of severe bone loss, which means you will not have to add additional appointments.
  • Shorter Treatment Time- You will not have to spend months waiting for your implant posts to integrate and fuse with your jaw; zygomatic and pterygoid implants are stable enough for a false crown to be placed immediately.
  • Less Invasive- Compared to bone grafting, receiving zygoma or pterygoid implants is a far less invasive procedure.

The Specific Differences Between Zygomatic and Pterygoid Dental Implants

These two types of implants, having a longer length than regular implants, are in a special category of dental implants used if you have had significant bone loss.

Like most regular implants, zygomatic and pterygoid implants are made of titanium, and the primary difference between them is where they are placed:

  • The pterygoid implant is placed and integrated into the Pterygoid process of the sphenoid bone, a bone that is part of the base of the skull.
  • The zygomatic implant is placed in the zygomatic or malar bone, a rhomboidal bone that forms the most prominent portion of the cheekbone.
  • Both bones are hard with great density that, unlike the maxillary bone, is maintained over time, so they do not present any bone resorption and provide extraordinary anchorage behind ​​the maxilla.
  • To reach the anchoring area, both zygomatic and pterygoid dental implants are considerably longer than traditional implants, reaching up to 55 mm in length, and are placed usually in a 45-degree angle.
  • The process of placing both types of implants is a short-term and minimally invasive intervention, which is no more complex than the placement of regular implants for your dental team.

What are Pterygoid Implants?