Have you been told that you are not a candidate for traditional implants because of a lack of bone in the upper jaw?
Severe Bone loss can be a result of long term denture use, congenital birth conditions, or simply a consequence of long-term missing teeth. When severe bone loss is present, it results in areas such as the sinus cavity or nasal cavity where dental implants are difficult to place without complicated and time- consuming bone grafting procedures. If you have been told you are not a candidate for dental implants in the upper jaw because of a lack of bone, you should consider zygomatic implants (angled implants).
Review the following below to learn more about a graftless option to replace your missing upper teeth even in cases of severe bone loss.
- What are Zygomatic Implants
- 3 Main Reasons for Severe Bone Loss in the Upper Jaw
- Same Day Teeth with Zygomatic Implants
What are Zygomatic Implants
Zygomatic Implants are an alternative to traditional implants and are useful especially in the back areas of the upper jaw when often there is a lack of bone where the teeth once were (or never were if missing from birth). Instead of being anchored by the jaw bone near the teeth, zygomatic implants can be placed at an angle to anchor into “zygoma” bone in the upper jaw bone which is more dense bone. By placing implants in this dense bone, the implants can be anchored even if there is a lack of bone where traditional implants would go.
One major advantage of an implant that engages the zygoma bone is that many times, these implants can be used while avoiding time consuming and sometimes unpredictable grafting procedures that can prolong treatment for 6 months to 1 year. While grafting procedure are indicated in some cases, zygomatic implants offer an option to have the implant in a patient’s own natural bone as opposed to grafted bone which is sometimes less strong than natural bone.
Restoration of teeth with zygomatic implants can be done in the same way as traditional implants, offering the choice of teeth that are removable and snap to the implants for increased retention with no coverage of the palate, or teeth that are screwed to the implants and are not removable by the patient.
The treatment with zygomatic implants is completed with a team of specialists that includes a Prosthodontist, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon, Certified Dental Laboratory Technician, and Anesthesiologist (when requested) to complete treatment in the most efficient, comfortable way to give the patient dental implants that support teeth most of the time in the same day.
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3 Main Reasons for Severe Bone Loss in the Upper Jaw
Severe Bone loss in the upper jaw is the main reason that patients are told they are not a candidate for tooth replacement using dental implants. Often times these patients are limited to an upper denture that moves around and doesn’t let them eat, speak, or smile with confidence. Zygomatic implants can be the answer to replace the teeth in a natural looking and functioning way. They are a solution to give you fixed teeth, even in cases of severe bone loss.
There are 3 main reasons why severe bone loss in the upper jaw is present:
1. Congential (meaning from birth) conditions where either no teeth were formed or the upper jaw did not form properly
Anadontia (a condition where no teeth were formed during development) precedes a person having a severely deficient upper jaw where the use of traditional implants is very difficult or impossible. The reason that jaw bone forms is related to the development and rising of the teeth to form normal bone we traditionally use for dental implants. When this is the case, alternative forms of dental implant restoration often with the use of Zygomatic implants is the only option to restore functional, natural looking teeth.
2. Long-term missing teeth
As can be the case with a congenital birth condition, teeth are the reason the bone forms and the reason that bone sticks around. Once teeth are lost, the bone supporting those teeth tends to melt away making restoring teeth with the bone that was once there very difficult. In situations such as this, major grafting procedures can help build bone back once it is lost – but bone grafting is costly, time-consuming, and often unpredictable long-term. Zygomatic implants can be useful in these scenarios because they can anchor to parts of the upper jaw, which is strong bone that forms unrelated to the teeth.
3. Long-term denture use
For a similar reason to why the bone melts away when we loose teeth, long-term denture use can accelerate this bone loss in some cases. A combination of natural bone reduction over time and potential traumatic forces to the underlying bone from long-term denture use can leave a person with no bone for traditional implants. That’s not good news if you want natural-looking and permanent teeth that are fixed it implants.
If you fall into one of these 3 categories and are interested in learning more about zygomatic implants…
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Same Day Teeth with Zygomatic Implants
Zygomatic implants, as in a lot of cases with traditional implants, can support teeth in the same day as the surgery in which they are placed. When the implants are placed in a way such as a table with legs, they work in unison to balance the load, so small forces can be placed on them while they heal. In conjunction with a soft diet, these procedures allow the patient to have same day permanent teeth (that are not removable) the same day as the surgery, allowing patients a quick method to esthetic, functional, non-removable (fixed) teeth.