The zygomatic angle
Tooth loss is a serious issue that affects several aspects of your life. Missing teeth make simple tasks, such as eating and speaking, more challenging. Your smile is negatively impacted. Under the gum line, the jawbone begins to grow weak. Over time, the bone changes shape, and can even affect the shape (and appearance) of your face. There are two main varieties of implants, your traditional implant, and zygomatic implants. However, for implants to work, you need to first have sufficient bone mass in the jaw. Poor bone mass would often mean a bone graft would be needed, or you would need to consider dentures as a replacement option. At BiteLock, we provide zygomatic implants. Here at BiteLock, our team, led by Dr. Pedro Franco, can help you to find the best implant solution for your personal needs since we know that each patient and procedure is unique.
What are Zygomatic Implants?
When you get a dental implant, a post is surgically installed into the bone in your mouth to anchor a false tooth above the gum’s surface. Traditional implants consist of a small post (generally made of titanium, but can also utilize zirconium instead) that is surgically inserted into the socket left behind by an extracted or otherwise lost a tooth.
A zygomatic implant has much the same results, but a very different structure and installation process. With zygomatic implants, the post is much longer than your standard implant and is anchored at an angle into your zygoma bone (hence the name) rather than in your jaw. This makes them stronger, allows them to heal more quickly, gives them the ability to be loaded with prosthetics immediately, and making dental implants an option for people with severely diminished jaws who would have previously needed a bone graft. For many, this can mean the difference between being able to have restorative dental surgery and being stuck with missing teeth.
The Difference Between Zygomatic Implants and Dental Implants
This implant is different in physical ways, such as length, placement, and angle. However, they are also different in their versatility and potential for patients. With traditional implants, a certain level of bone density must be maintained. Otherwise, an implant may be rejected or loosened. For many our patients, a bone grafting procedure must be done to rebuild the lost bone and to provide a solid enough base for the implant to take hold.
With some patients, this is not an option, or their bone is simply too far gone to be able to be rescued. In cases like this, patients may find themselves helpless. A zygomatic implant bypasses the need for a bone graft, making implants and denture systems (such as our BiteLock system) a possibility for more people than ever before.
These implants are not constricted by the same boundaries that most implants are. These implants go to your cheekbones rather than your jaw. This has a great amount of density and is unaffected by years of tooth loss in the way that your jaw bones are. This means that those with even severely diminished jawbones can still have new teeth and a newfound confidence. This procedure is significantly faster and less painful, as it cuts out the need for extra procedures, and can give hope to many.
How Do Zygomatic Implants Work?
Before receiving zygomatic implants, we first conduct a consultation. During this consultation, we take 3D images of your jaw, which enables us to see how much bone mass is in the jaw as well as evaluate the condition of your sinus cavities. We will discuss the benefits and drawbacks of zygomatic implants as well as the benefits and drawbacks of bone grafts and sinus lift surgeries. We can help you to determine the best course of action for your specific situation. If zygomatic implants are determined to be the best choice, we then move forward with surgery. The implants are placed, and the teeth can be placed just a few days later. Recovery from this particular surgery takes about four months. Once you have fully healed, then we can place your final restorations.
The Benefits of Zygomatic Implants
Zygomatic implants offer several benefits. First, they enable you to avoid undergoing a bone graft before receiving your implants. While a bone graft restores missing bone mass, it is an invasive surgery that involves a lengthy recovery period. There is less healing time required, and therefore less time to wait for your final restorations. Zygomatic implants can also be used to replace failing All-on-4 implants. Along with all of these benefits, zygomatic implants enable you to enjoy the many benefits that dental implants have to offer.
Are There Any Risks?
As with any surgery, there are some risks involved. While rare, there is the risk of bleeding, zygomatic fracture, numbness, or the bone may enter under the orbit. We will discuss all potential risks with you before undergoing surgery and help you to make the best possible decision for your situation.
Getting your zygomatic implants can make for an apprehensive time, as these are not quite as well-known of an option as their standard counterparts. However, we can assure you that you have nothing to fear. When you come in for your appointment, we are going to scan your face. The use of a CBCT scan, or a cone beam computed tomography scan, will allow us to have a very clear image of what your cheekbone looks like inside and out. This eliminates the need for a more expansive surgery to be able to see everything inside. Once we have determined the exact size and shape of the area, we can proceed.
We will likely anchor two zygomatic implants at that time, while you are under anesthesia, on either side of your mouth. These will go into the zygoma bone and are on the outsides of your sinuses. We will likely also install two to four standard implants toward the front where bone loss is less likely to be as extreme. From this point, we can immediately load a prosthetic to the implants, allowing you to have a bright new BiteLock smile in just a one-day procedure. This significantly cuts back on time and pain levels. You will be able to go home shortly after we make sure that your vitals are back to normal and there are no adverse effects.
Dr. Pedro Franco has years of experience, leaving you in incredibly capable and knowledgeable hands. If a zygomatic implant is right for you, you can be sure that we will help guide you through the process so that you can live comfortably and confidently. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to give BiteLock a call today at (972) 594-7414, and we can set up a consultation and get all of your questions answered right away.