zygoma implant placement inside the mouth

What are zygoma implants?

Zygoma implants are a type of dental implant used in complex cases of severe maxillary (upper jaw) bone loss. Traditional dental implants require a certain amount of bone in the jaw to securely anchor the implant. However, in cases where the bone has resorbed significantly, often due to long-term denture use or other factors, there might not be enough bone for standard implants.

Zygoma implants are longer than regular dental implants and are anchored not in the jawbone itself but in the zygomatic bone, which is also known as the cheekbone. The zygomatic bone is dense and provides a stable base for implant placement even when there is insufficient bone in the upper jaw. This makes zygoma implants a valuable option for individuals who would otherwise not be suitable candidates for traditional implant procedures due to extensive bone loss.

The procedure for placing zygoma implants is more complex and requires the expertise of experienced oral surgeons or implantologists. It usually involves attaching the implants to the zygomatic bone through the oral cavity.

Zygoma implants can provide individuals with a fixed and stable foundation for implant-supported dentures or prosthetics, significantly improving their quality of life and ability to chew, speak, and smile comfortably. However, due to the complexity of the procedure and the specific requirements for candidates, zygoma implants are typically considered when other options like bone grafting or sinus lift procedures are not feasible.

It’s important to consult with a qualified dental professional to determine whether zygoma implants are appropriate for your specific situation, as individual cases can vary widely in terms of bone loss, oral health, and overall health considerations.


What are the complications of zygomatic implants?


While zygoma implants can provide a valuable solution for individuals with severe maxillary bone loss, there are also potential disadvantages and complications associated with the procedure. Some of these include:

  1. Complexity: Zygoma implant surgery is a complex procedure that requires specialized training and expertise. It’s typically performed by experienced oral and maxillofacial surgeons or implantologists. The complexity of the surgery increases the risk of potential complications.
  2. Surgical Risk: Any surgical procedure carries inherent risks, such as infection, bleeding, and adverse reactions to anesthesia. With zygoma implant surgery, there’s a risk of damage to nearby structures, such as nerves, blood vessels, and sinus cavities.
  3. Infection: As with any surgical procedure, there’s a risk of infection at the surgical site. Infections can lead to implant failure and additional complications.
  4. Implant Failure: Zygoma implants, like any other dental implants, can fail due to factors such as improper integration with the bone, poor surgical technique, or post-operative complications. Implant failure might require removal and replacement, leading to additional procedures and costs.
  5. Discomfort and Pain: Recovery from zygoma implant surgery can be uncomfortable, and patients may experience pain, swelling, and bruising in the facial area.
  6. Functional Issues: In some cases, patients may experience functional issues such as difficulty in chewing or speaking immediately after the surgery. These issues usually improve over time as the implant integrates with the bone and healing progresses.
  7. Cosmetic Considerations: Depending on the surgical approach used, there might be visible scarring or changes in facial appearance. Discussing these potential changes with your surgeon is important to manage expectations.
  8. Long-Term Complications: Zygoma implants, like any medical devices, might have long-term complications that become apparent years after the surgery. These can include issues related to implant stability, bone loss, or changes in the surrounding tissue.
  9. Cost: Zygoma implant surgery is often more complex than traditional dental implant procedures, and it can be more expensive. Patients should consider the financial implications, especially if insurance coverage is limited.
  10. Follow-Up Care: Zygoma implants require careful follow-up care to monitor the healing process, ensure proper integration, and address any potential complications. Regular dental visits are crucial to long-term success.

It’s important to note that while these potential disadvantages and complications exist, many individuals benefit significantly from zygoma implants, especially when there are no other viable options for restoring oral function and aesthetics in cases of severe bone loss. If you are considering zygoma implants, it’s crucial to have a thorough discussion with a qualified oral surgeon who can assess your specific situation, explain the potential risks, and help you make an informed decision.


What are some sinus-related complications using zygoma implants?


Zygoma implants are placed in the upper jaw, and their placement often involves proximity to the maxillary sinus, a hollow space located within the cheekbones. Because of this proximity, there is a potential risk of sinus-related complications, including sinus infections. Here are some ways sinus infections could be associated with zygoma implants:

  1. Sinus Communication: During zygoma implant surgery, there is a risk of inadvertently creating a communication or opening between the oral cavity and the maxillary sinus. This is called an oroantral communication or oroantral fistula. If this communication is not properly managed, it can lead to the entry of oral bacteria into the sinus cavity, potentially causing sinus infections.
  2. Sinusitis: Sinusitis is the inflammation or infection of the sinus lining. If bacteria enter the sinus cavity due to an oroantral communication or other factors, it can lead to sinusitis. Symptoms of sinusitis can include facial pain, pressure, congestion, headache, and discolored nasal discharge.
  3. Post-Operative Complications: After zygoma implant surgery, patients might experience sinus-related complications during the healing process. For example, inadequate healing of the surgical site can lead to persistent oroantral communications, which can become pathways for infection.
  4. Bacterial Migration: In some cases, bacteria from the mouth might find their way into the sinus cavity due to the presence of the implants and their connections with the bone and tissue. This can potentially lead to sinus infections.

To mitigate the risk of sinus infections and other sinus-related complications associated with zygoma implants, it’s important to have the surgery performed by a skilled and experienced oral surgeon. Pre-operative planning, proper surgical technique, and careful management of the surgical site can all contribute to reducing the risk of these complications.

Patients who undergo zygoma implant surgery should also follow their surgeon’s post-operative instructions diligently. This might include avoiding behaviors that could increase the risk of complications, such as blowing the nose forcefully or engaging in activities that could disrupt the healing process.

If you’re considering zygoma implants or if you’re experiencing symptoms that could be related to sinus infections after the surgery, it’s crucial to consult with your oral surgeon. The professionals at Implantation Dental Center can provide appropriate guidance, diagnose any potential complications, and recommend the necessary treatment. Contact our prosthodontics practice in Plantation, Florida at (954) 476-0770 to schedule a consultation, or ask questions about your specific needs. We are here to help!

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