What is a Zygomatic Dental Implant
Zygomatic dental implants differ from traditional Implants because instead of being implanted into the jawbone, they are anchored in the zygomatic bone, the cheekbone! Zygomatic implants can be used in patients who do not have any teeth in the upper jaw, have heavily broken down teeth or very mobile teeth due to diseases such as generalized periodontal disease.
Why are zygomatic implants used?
Sometimes, a patient does not have enough jaw bone structure to support a dental implant due to bone resorption and/or pneumatization of the sinus.
Bone resorption is the process by which the bone is absorbed and broken down by the body. Osteoclast cells are responsible for the breakdown of bone minerals, releasing calcium and phosphorus into the bloodstream. This happens when the body has insufficient calcium from the individual’s diet
Pneumatization of the sinus is the expansion of the sinus cavity. This can occur due to factors such as heredity, nasal mucous membrane pneumatization, craniofacial configuration, bone density, sinus surgeries, growth hormones, air pressure within the cavity of the sinus and an age related process.
The minimal bone height for a standard implant placement in the posterior region of the upper jaw should be about 10 millimeters to ensure implant survival. When there is insufficient bone structure available, bone grafting procedures and sinus lift procedures may be performed to increase the volume of bone. Bone grafting procedures in the jaws have the disadvantage of prolonged treatment time, restriction of denture wear, and graft rejection. A bone graft can add another two to three months of healing time before an implant can even be placed.
How do zygomatic implants work?
Since the late 1990s, zygomatic implants have been used for dental restorations in patients with insufficient upper jaw bone structure. The zygomatic bone is denser in quality and can therefore be utilized when necessary.
Zygomatic implants are available in lengths ranging from 30 to 52.5 mm. The head of the implant is engineered to allow prosthesis attachment at a 45-degree angle to the long axis of the implant. The success rate of zygomatic implants reported in the literature world-wide is 97 - 98%. The complications associated with these implants are paresthesia (tingling or prickling, “pins-and-needles” sensation) in the cheek region, oroantral fistula, and the most common problem, sinusitis.
Because of the sturdy anchorage achievable in the dense bone of the zygomatic region and the wide stress distribution achieved on these tilted implants, a dental prosthesis can often be immediately placed at the time of surgery!