Implant options for patients with insufficient bone mass

If you lack sufficient bone mass for a traditional dental implant, an Implantologist may recommend an alternative solution called pterygoid implants. Pterygoid implants are also known as “pterygo-maxillary implants” and “tuberosity implants.” Pterygoid implants allow patients with severe upper jawbone loss to enjoy the benefits of a dental implant.

What are pterygoid implants?

Pterygoid implants are typically performed for patients diagnosed with atrophic maxilla, a severe shrinkage of the upper jaw. As such, the upper jaw cannot support traditional dental implants.  Even if an Implantologist placed the implant “root” into the upper jaw, the bone would likely not be able to fuse around the root and the implant would fail. While patients will always have the option to be fitted with dentures or a dental partial, dental implants offer the best long-term solution for missing teeth. Rather than anchoring the dental implant vertically into the jaw bone as is done with a traditional implant, the pterygoid implant is anchored at a 45-degree angle into the medial pterygoid plate. The end result is a bright, shiny new smile, despite past struggles with bone loss!

Advantages of pterygoid implants

  • Permanently replace missing teeth: With some minor exceptions, pterygoid implants will permanently replace your missing teeth. Not only will you be more self-confident, you’ll be able to chew food just as you would with natural teeth! For many patients, pterygoid implants are life changing.
  • Avoid the need for sinus augmentation: Sinus augmentation is sometimes necessary to build bone mass between the sinus and oral cavity. This surgery can add months to an implant process because the patient must undergo sinus augmentation, then wait for the area to heal before an implant can be placed. Conversely, pterygoid implants do not necessitate sinus augmentation, therefore patients can enjoy their new smile in less time.
  • Avoid bone grafting: Bone grafting used to be customary for patients with severe bone loss. Healing from a bone graft can take up to a year before the jaw is ready to support implants. Since pterygoid implants bypass the upper jaw entirely, patients do not need a bone graft.
  • Can be used in conjunction with other implant types: If you require dental implants in your lower jaw, it is safe to use pterygoid implants in conjunction with traditional implants.
  • Easy to clean and care for: Your dental implants mimic the look of natural teeth—and you’ll clean them much the same way. Brushing and flossing will ensure good gum health and protect your remaining natural teeth.
  • High success rate: Pterygoid implants have a success rate of more than 95%!
Could pterygoid implants be right for you? Schedule a free consultation with Dr, Mike at Cleveland Implant Institute to learn more about this exciting new procedure. Your brand-new smile could be right around the corner, even if you suffer from severe bone loss.  

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