Zygomatic implants are nowadays the best alternative to bone grafting in case of maxillary atrophy (bone loss in the upper jaw).
After few days of treatment, zygomatic implants enable patients with severely resorbed upper jaw to have a fixed prosthesis, replacing traditional, uncomfortable dentures.
Two are the solutions for a patient who wants to lead a normal life without removable prostheses:

  • bone graft
  • zygomatic implants

Bone grafting rarely restores the original anatomy. Therefore significant adjustments must be made to compensate for uncorrected defects. Bone grafting has other limits:

  • it is impossible to know how much bone there will be at the end of the process (which takes at least 6 months).
  • to avoid risks, false teeth can be implanted only 8-12 months after the first surgery.
  • at least two surgical interventions are required, which can cause a lot of discomfort to the patient
  • chances of success vary between 60 and 82%.

What are zygomatic implants?

Zygomatic implants are dental implants anchored to the zygomatic process (see pictures above) which allow, except for complications during surgery, for immediate loading (prosthesis is fixed within 72 hours from surgery).

What are the advantages of zygomatic implants?

  • the problem is solved with one single surgical intervention;
  • reduced time: within three days, the patient receives a temporary fixed prosthesis of high quality in terms of comfort, function and esthetics;
  • high chances of success: between 98 and 100%;
  • limited postoperative discomfort.

With this procedure, dentists know from the beginning where they can anchor the implants and which type of prosthesis can be created. Zygomatic implants are not suitable for all cases of severely resorbed upper jaw, but when they are, they offer many advantages for the patient (see table)

Both techniques can be carried out on healthy patients, better if non-smokers.

With bone grafting, the patient must take at least 8-10 days off work and doesn’t receive yet any kind of prosthesis, whereas in case of therapy with zygomatic implants the patient loses only 3-4 working days, at the end of which the patient gets a permanent prosthesis.

In conclusion, zygomatic implants are a valid alternative to bone grafts because they allow for faster treatment, higher success rate and less discomfort for the patient, at the same costs.