Dental implantology has provided a viable solution for those patients who have lost their teeth, allowing them a fixed dentition with which they can chew any type of food, smile without prejudice or speak without fear of people perceiving their missing teeth.
However, in some patients the lack of bone makes it impossible to place dental implants, preventing them from enjoying the enormous advantages offered by dental implantology.
What had dental implantology been like?
In the past, these patients had to make do with lifelong removable complete dentures (commonly known as dentures) or bone grafting procedures that required hospitalization, resulting in painful and uncomfortable postoperative periods and waiting times of up to 12 months to achieve the much-desired fixed teeth.
With the intention of improving these disadvantages, in the mid-1990s, the surgical technique of the zygomatic implants a procedure in which implants are placed slightly longer than conventional implants and that, when placed in the implant on the inner area of the cheekbone we can get a firm anchoring to hold the fixed teeth.
The zygomatic implant is a minimally invasive technique, which does not require hospitalization and in which it is possible to place fixed teeth in a few hours and with a more pleasant postoperative period than classic bone grafts.
What does the placement of zygomatic implants consist of?
- Examination and previous explorations.
- Programmed intervention.
- Postoperative and waiting.
- Placement of fixed teeth.
1. Examination and previous explorations.
In order to be able to perform the procedure, the patient must be examined by the zygomatic implant specialist by means of a clinical examination and a tomography or 3D jaw scan The implant placement is performed in a virtual system that allows to visualize the anatomy of the zygomatic region, as well as to plan the placement of the implants virtually with a high precision software. Once planned on the computer, a splint is constructed to guide the surgeon during the operation for the millimetre-accurate placement of the implants.
Subsequently, surgery can be scheduled. It is an outpatient procedure performed under local anaesthesia and conscious sedation. The procedure lasts approximately 2 hours and, subsequently, this technique allows the placement of temporary fixed teeth in the following 24 or 48 hours, depending on the complexity of the case.
3. Postoperative and waiting.
The patient usually goes home the same day, and the postoperative period usually includes 2 to 4 days of swelling and discomfort that can be alleviated with the implantologist’s recommendations. The patient can begin to chew soft solids (fish, pasta, rice, etc.) after the placement of the provisional fixed teeth.
After approximately 7 days, the stitches are removed and, from that moment on, a waiting period of 3 months begins until the definitively fixed teeth can be placed.
4. Placement of fixed teeth.
The placement of the definitive fixed prosthesis is comfortable since it does not require local anaesthesia and only needs about two months to be delivered to the patient. Once the permanently fixed teeth are in place, the patient will be able to eat all types of food.
It is important to remember that oral health is fundamental to guaranteeing the success of any dental treatment, especially implantology. For this reason, we recommend following an optimal cleaning protocol and regular check-ups with the specialist.
In short, zygomatic implants have been used for more than 20 years with a high success rate and have allowed many patients with the little jawbone to benefit from fixed teeth in a few hours through minimally invasive treatment, without long waiting times and without hospitalization.