Pterygoid vs. Zygomatic Implants

Dental implants replace missing teeth by anchoring crowns into the jawbone. Once healed and fully placed, they will look and function just like natural teeth. However, the success of dental implants depends on sufficient jawbone density to support the anchor posts.

When implant candidates lack sufficient bone mass to support implants, bone grafting can help rebuild the jaw. When upper jawbone loss is severe, however, pterygoid and zygomatic implants can offer tooth replacement without bone grafting. Could these implant options be the right solution for you?

The difference between pterygoid and zygomatic implants

Before pterygoid and zygomatic implants were available, patients with severe bone loss had two options. They could build the jawbone back up with bone grafts, which may not be successful when severe bone loss has occurred, or wear dentures. Neither solution is ideal.

Fortunately, there are better options today. Both pterygoid and zygomatic implants use longer posts than traditional implants. Instead of anchoring the posts directly into the jawbone, like traditional implants, these implant anchors are placed at an angle into different bones. Both procedures have been in use for several decades. They offer safe, functional permanent tooth replacement, just like traditional implants.

The difference between these two implant types is where the posts are anchored. Pterygoid implants are placed in the junction of the upper jaw (maxillary) bone and the pterygoid process of the sphenoid bone. Zygomatic implants are anchored in the cheekbone (zygoma). Both of these bones are dense, stable foundations for implants. They’re less susceptible to bone loss than the upper jaw, making them an excellent option for patients with severe upper jawbone loss.

Benefits of pterygoid and zygomatic implants

Whether you need to replace one missing tooth or a full upper arch, pterygoid and zygomatic implants are safe and effective. They can be used on their own or in conjunction with traditional dental implants in the lower jaw.

Both types of implants are ideal for patients who lack adequate upper jawbone density. Patients don’t have to wait for supplemental procedures like bone grafting, which can add months to your dental implant process. Instead, patients only need one procedure to anchor the implants into their cheekbones or sphenoid bones.

Like traditional implants, pterygoid and zygomatic implants allow patients to replace multiple teeth at the same time. Not only are the implants nearly permanent, but they look and function just like your natural teeth. Once the implants are placed and the bone has healed, patients no longer have to worry about removing and cleaning dentures. In fact, dental implants are cleaned and cared for just like natural teeth.

Best of all, pterygoid and zygomatic implants have a 97 to 98 percent success rate. When candidates work with a skilled care team like the Cleveland Implant Institute and follow Dr. Mike’s pre- and post-surgical instructions, they’ll reap the benefits of dental implants for decades to come.

If you’re interested in finding out whether you’re a good candidate for pterygoid, zygomatic or traditional dental implants, reach out to Dr. Mike at the Cleveland Implant Institute today.

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