General, Cosmetic and Implant Dentist Armadale | Cosmetic Dental and Implant Centre

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 have the ability to treat a wide variety of patients who are missing teeth in their upper jaw with Zygomatic & Pterygoid bone Implants. Some of these patients have previously been advised by other clinicians they don’t have enough bone for implants.

Patient who have gum disease and those who have experienced tooth loss, are likely to be missing part of the jawbone (alveolar bone) that houses the roots of teeth keeping them in place. This bone 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.

Rebuilding this alveloar bone is difficult, costly, invasive and unpredictable. In many cases, placing implants into extensively resorbed bone is impossible.

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

History of Non- Dental Implants

Titanium Implants (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, ears and teeth etc. have all been attached to these titanium implants and the frames used to join and stabilise them. 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 placed to support prosthetic teeth. Two bone that are commonly used nowadays for this purpose are the Zygoma (‘cheek’) bone and the Pterygoid bone found just behind and above the maxilla (upper jawbone). Using these bones to anchor dental implants is no longer experimental with an abundance of per reviewed evidenced published supporting these newer treatments. The current techniques that have been developed over the past few decades have made these treatments relatively straightforward for a well-trained and skilled surgeon and very predictable with success rates similar to that of other dental implants.

The use of zygoma and pterygoid implants is now predictable and they are being used all over the world to support a full set of teeth, or sometimes as a contingency in cases where extensive bone loss means other implants placed in ‘questionable’ bone are no longer as vulnerable to excessive loads.

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 occasionally more grafting. Another concern that we have with these bone grafts is that the grafted bone may resorb and be lost over time compromising the long-term stability of the implants and teeth they support.

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