We use Zygomatic implants routinely when there is not enough bone for ordinary implants. Zygomatic implants are used to provide support for implant bridgework where there has been a substantial amount of bone lost from the upper jaw, and ordinary dental implants cannot be used on their own to support a bridge.
The implants are longer than ordinary dental implants, and engage the very strong bulk of bone that forms the cheekbone. This means that the implants can be used as an alternative to complex bone grafting operations, making it possible to carry out surgery in just one simple stage.
Typically two Zygomatic implants are used along with 2-4 ordinary dental implants. Where bone availability is even more limited, four zygomatic implants may be used.
We routinely fit a fixed resin bridge on the same day as the implants are placed. This has been incredibly exciting for our patients, most of whom have been able to be rid of their dentures in just one day, (instead of having graft treatments over a 9-18 month period and several different operations, as was previously the case).
Treatment with zygomatic implants is very similar from the patients perspective to conventional implant treatment. Treatment usually starts by ‘designing’ the teeth by making a ‘set-up’ arrangement of teeth in the new desired position. As patients who need zygomatic implants have usually lost large amounts of supporting bone, this can make a huge amount of difference to appearance, correcting the ‘collapse’ or loss of face height that is often present where dentures have been worn for a long time.
We use 3D scanning technology, available in conjunction with Dawood and Tanner to produce a precise replica model of the upper jaw bone. This allows us to visualise the precise shape and topography of the jaw and cheekbone, without having to carry out a wide surgical exposure. We often also use special ‘guides’ that help us to accurately put implants directly into the correct position. So as to make the experience as comfortable as possible, this sort of treatment usually takes place under intra-venous sedation.
Read about a patient’s experience with zygomatic implants replacing a full set of teeth in one jaw, and zygomatic implants and ordinary implants to restore both jaws. See an in-depth press article on zygomatic implants.