Zygomatic and Pterygoid Implants
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If you have many missing teeth and compromised bone volume as a result, you need a lasting solution that will meet your requirements in terms of both aesthetics and functionality. Zygomatic and Pterygoid implants are special dental implants designed to provide a foundation for fixed upper teeth for patients with insufficient upper bone height and width (maxillary atrophy).
Who is a candidate for Zygomatic and Pterygoid implants?
Patients who have been missing multiple upper teeth for a long time commonly have insufficient bone support/volume for traditional dental implants. Traditional removable upper denture used to be the only possible solution for these patients. Even though the upper denture may work for a period of time in terms of providing esthetic and functional results (patients look like they have teeth and can even eat softer foods), as years go by, the upper jaw bone continues to deteriorate and shrink.
As the upper jaw bone deteriorates and shrinks, the existing denture becomes looser and looser, to the point where a patient cannot even wear it comfortably.
There is a workable solution for this challenging clinical situation. Two types of special dental implants have been designed and used for the past 30 years – Zygomatic implants and Pterygoid implants.
How do Zygomatic and Pterygoid implants work?
Zygomatic implants are placed into the cheekbones (zygoma) and Pterygoid implants are placed at the junction of maxillary (upper jaw) bone and Pterygoid process of the Sphenoid bone. These two anatomical areas are very resistant to ongoing bony atrophy of jaws and also have very good, dense, stable bone that can be used as a foundation to anchor the dental implants.
What are the benefits of Zygomatic and Pterygoid implants?
Both Zygomatic and Pterygoid implants allow a patient to transition from a removable, ill-fitting denture to a fixed dental bridge in as little as one day. Although these implants are more challenging to do for the doctor, they do offer a patient an opportunity to enjoy life with fixed, non-removable teeth. This allows a patient to enjoy eating a variety of foods, without having a fear that their removable dentures will cause pain when eating or will fall out of their mouth at the most inopportune moment.
Can Zygomatic or Pterygoid implants be alternatives to All-on-4?
Interestingly, fully edentulous patients are not the only ones who can take advantage of this established and proven technology. There are a lot of patients who are interested in a “Teeth in a Day” or “All-on-4” type of procedure, but who have been told in the past that they are not a candidate for it. These patients have very large maxillary sinuses (empty spaces inside the upper jaw that communicate with the nasal cavity). Some patients just naturally have enlarged maxillary sinuses, whether they are aware of it or not.
These patients are also candidates for Zygomatic and Pterygoid implants that can serve as anchorage for fixed, non-removable teeth. To learn more about this and to see if this could be a solution for you, please schedule your free consultation in our office.