Patient Evaluation of Zygomatic Implants Using the Sinus Slot Technique

How This New Process Can Enable You to Get Implants

Getting dental implants to replace missing teeth is not easy when you have had missing teeth for some time. The longer you are without teeth the more time has occurred for your jawbone to have been resorbed by your body. This lack of bone means that dentists must use alternate methods such as the use of zygomatic implants.

Zygomatic Bone

When bone loss has occurred in the upper jaw, normal-sized dental implants are not going to hold well. After attaching a set of full dentures, there is a limited chance of success. To overcome this deficiency of available bone, it means that the dentist needs to place the dental implants deeper into a place where solid bone can be found. The cheekbones, also called zygoma, will anchor the new dental implants well. The bone can provide a solid anchor for the implants. 

In order for the implant to reach the zygoma at the correct angle, the dentist must put it through the palate. This is instead of putting them through the alveolar ridge, which is standard for implants. 

No Bone Grafting Needed

One powerful advantage of zygomatic implants is that these implants do not require any bone grafting. This step simply is not needed because of the placement in the zygoma. It does mean, however, that dental implants need to be much longer than standard implants. Another step that is avoided by this process is that a sinus lift is also not necessary.

Bone grafting typically requires a lengthy process. It may require multiple surgeries and a wait time of around six to nine months. This also means that a patient will not get teeth for some time. With this process, teeth are immediately placed and they are stable from day one.

The Sinuses

A zygomatic dental implant needs to pass through the sinus cavity to reach the zygoma. A skilled dentist can usually do this without damaging the sinus membrane. Detailed

3-D scans are necessary during the planning stage to ensure no complications. 

The sinus slot technique involves placing the dental implant more directly through the bone. This minimizes the amount of the implant that is touching the sinuses and it eliminates the need to detach the membrane from the bone. The technique also helps to improve the orientation of the implant and it reduces symptoms that may show up after the surgery. 

The Evaluation Test

Dentists wanted to check on the quality of zygomatic implant placement when compared with that of traditional placement. They also wanted to know about patient satisfaction, the survival rate, and the overall health of the maxillary sinuses. For the test, 28 participants were selected for one group. Each one was given a combination of implants – both conventional and zygomatic. A second group consisted of 14 participants and each one was only given conventional implants.

In this test, which used Stella and Warner’s method, which minimizes how much of the implant is in the maxillary sinus cavity, the results proved very successful. In fact, all of the implants – both conventional and zygomatic – survived. It was a 100 percent success. They were checked at 15 months up to 53 months. The test subjects were given radiographs to determine the results. They revealed good bone levels, no sinus disease, and no symptoms of peri-implantitis (the bacterial infection that causes bone destruction). 

Three of the participants did report that they had some nasal obstruction. One of them said it was from a cold, and the other two said that they treated the problem with antihistamines – which eliminated the problem within one week of the evaluation. One patient had reported having headaches and pressure in the sinus area. A nasal fibroscopy was used and determined that it was not from sinusitis. 

Situations When Zygomatic Implants Could Be Used

The placement of zygomatic dental implants can be recommended for use for tooth replacement in several types of people. They include people who:

  • Want an alternative to bone grafts (sinus augmentation)
  • Had trauma or need rehabilitation after cancer treatment
  • Had a sinus augmentation that failed
  • Had the failure of conventional dental implants. 

The Success Rate

The use of zygomatic implants has a very good success rate. The overall survival rate for this type of dental implant currently stands at 96 percent survival after 12 years. 

Steps that will increase the likelihood of success include following the dentist’s instructions for recovery precisely; making regular dental visits as directed; avoid smoking, and brushing and flossing daily. If you do not follow these steps, your implants are likely to fail.

If you have missing teeth and have had considerable bone loss in your jaw, you may be a good candidate for this type of dental implant. Dr. Kumar T. Vadivel, DDS, MS, MBA, FDSRCS, a Board Certified Periodontist, provides zygomatic dental implants in his Carrollton, Cedar hill, Mockingbird/SMU, and Grapevine, TX offices. Most dental insurance plans are accepted. To set up a Free consultation or to get more information about zygomatic implants, you can contact his ToothHQ office at 214-731-0123