Dental implants are one of the most long-lasting ways to replace missing teeth. They consist of a crown connected to a metal anchor that's placed in your jawbone. The anchor supports the crown that replaces your tooth, keeping it stable and preventing it from shifting around in your mouth.
To provide the required support, however, a traditional dental implant requires the bone in your jaw to be strong. Unfortunately, this can sometimes be a problem for people who are considering dental implants to replace missing teeth. When you're missing teeth, the bone in your jaw will slowly become less dense.
The bone in your jaw is kept strong by the force that's exerted on it when you're chewing. When you're missing teeth, that force is no longer transmitted to the bone, and it will become too weak to support an implant.
If your jawbone is too weak to support a traditional implant, one alternative you can use to replace your missing teeth is to use a zygomatic dental implant. These aren't reliant on the bone in your jaw to support the implant. To learn how this type of implant works and its advantages over traditional implants, read on.
What Are Zygomatic Dental Implants?
Like a traditional dental implant, a zygomatic implant uses a metal anchor to keep it stable. The difference is that this anchor is placed in your zygoma, which is the cheekbone near your nose. Your cheekbone is very dense, and it also doesn't start to weaken when you're missing teeth. This makes it a better candidate for supporting an implant when your jawbone has atrophied due to tooth loss.
What Are the Advantages of Using Zygomatic Dental Implants?
The biggest advantage of using zygomatic dental implants is that you can normally replace your teeth using only one procedure. With a traditional implant, the usual solution to a weak jawbone is a bone graft. Grafting your own bone, donor bone, or artificial bone onto your jawbone will reinforce it, allowing it to support an implant.
However, you'll need to wait for the bone graft to heal and become fused with your natural bone before an implant can be placed in it. With a traditional implant, you'll need to undergo multiple procedures and wait longer before you're able to replace your teeth.
Since your cheekbone is so strong and dense compared to your jawbone, you can eliminate this waiting time with a zygomatic dental implant. You can have a fixed bridge attached to the metal anchors in your cheekbone right after they've been placed, which means that this type of implant can replace all of the teeth on your upper jaw with one procedure.
One downside of a zygomatic implant is that it can only be used to replace the teeth on your upper jaw. However, it's an excellent solution for people who have jawbone atrophy since it can be done as one procedure. You'll be able to replace your missing upper teeth faster and reduce the amount of time you spend undergoing dental procedures. If you're considering replacing your missing teeth, reach out to a dentist who offers dental implants.