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Zygomatic & Pterygoid Implants

Solutions for cases where few other alternatives exist.

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Zygomatic Implants For Patients with Severe Jaw Bone Loss

At CDIC, we now have the ability to treat an even wider variety of patients who are missing teeth in their upper jaw with Zygomatic & Pterygoid Implants.

Patient who have gum disease and those who have experienced tooth loss, the part of the jawbone (alveolar bone) that houses the roots of teeth keeping them in place is lost through a process described as bone resorption. The rate at which this bone is lost varies from person to person, but the one constant is, over time most of the alveolar bone will disappear making it very difficult or almost impossible to place conventional dental implants.

Following periodontal (gum) disease, tooth loss and trauma, bone volume is lost from the jaws. Once lost, rebuilding the bone is difficult, costly, invasive and unpredictable. In many cases, placing implants into extensively resorbed bone is impossible.

In order to restore patient’s dentitions with ‘fixed’ teeth who have undergone extensive bone loss it is imperitaive to find strong stable bone into which to place and anchor implants. This bone needs to be readily accessible and strong enough to receive a screw type implant and then the functional forces delivered to them during function (eating).

History of Non- Dental Implants

Implants (titanium screws) of various lengths and designs have been placed into facial and skull bones for many years now to help rehabilitate patients with large facial deformities resulting from trauma, cancer resections etc. Prosthetic eyes, cheeks, jaws, ears and teeth etc. have all been attached to these titanium implants and frames used to join them together. There even exists a ‘Bone Anchored Hearing Aid’ that is attached behind the ear onto implants placed in the skull bone to help people with specific types of deafness.

With this knowledge, dental surgeons over 30 years ago started looking at other bones about the periphery of the oral cavity into which dental implants could be anchored to support prosthetic teeth. Two bone that are commonly used nowadays for this purpose are the Zygoma (cheek) bone and the Pterygoid bone plates found just behind and above the maxilla (upper jaw) bone. Using these bone is no longer experimental with an abundance of per reviewed evidenced published supporting these treatments. The current techniques that have been developed over the past few decades have made these treatments relatively straightforward for a trained and skilled surgeon and very predictable with success rate similar to that of other dental implants.

Zygoma and pterygoid implants placed to support a full set of teeth, or used in cases with extensive bone loss as a contingency for cases where implants are placed in ‘questionable’ bone is now a predictable treatment being performed all over the world.

What Happened In The Past

Traditionally, a patient who had lost their alveolar bone would require extensive bone grafting procedures and extended healing periods before conventional dental implants could be placed. The grafts were often sourced from the hipbone and required a few days of recuperation in hospital and the use of crutches as walking aides following the procedure. These patients were further restricted for extended periods of time during the healing phase of their treatment, often unable to wear dentures and then having to undergo further surgeries for the placement of the implants and sometimes more grafting. Another concern that we have with these bone grafts is that the grafted bone may also resorb over time, compromising the long-term stability of the implants and teeth.

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