ANSWERS TO YOUR QUESTIONS
WHAT IS SEVERE MAXILLARY ATROPHY AND HOW IS IT TREATED TODAY?
In certain situations, the bone of the upper jaw can “shrink” and become significantly smaller to the point that sometimes, it can literally disappear. This is what is known as “bone loss”. The result of this is an upper maxillary bone made up of a very pneumatized sinus that contains a lot of air and is separated from the mouth by a thin bone septum, only a few millimeters thick. Colloquially, this is also known as “jawbone loss,” a situation where there is not enough bone material for conventional implants to be placed. Currently, our process involves using the cheekbone, or zygomatic bone, to anchor implants and place fixed teeth in 24 hours.
WHAT ARE THE CAUSES OF MAXILLARY ATROPHY?
Maxillary atrophy usually occurs after tooth extractions, either due to dental infections and tooth decay, fractures or periodontal infections around the teeth, such as periodontitis or pyorrhea. Shrinkage of the maxillary bone can also be caused by losing dental implants or by bone graft failure. When sinus grafts fail, it is normal for maxillary atrophy to manifest more severely in the posterior areas of the mouth. Hormonal factors can also influence maxillary bone loss and is therefore common in middle-aged women. Finally, maxillary bone loss can be the result of resective neoplasm treatment, which affects the craniofacial bones.
WHAT ARE ZYGOMATIC IMPLANTS?
Zygomatic implants are longer than conventional implants. Starting at the residual maxillary bone, they are anchored to the zygomatic bone, malar bone or cheekbone. One of the distinguishing characteristics of the zygomatic bone is that, unlike the maxillary bone, tooth loss does not cause it to atrophy.
Zygomatic implants are used to secure fixed teeth in atrophic maxillary bones and help prevent complications that derive from the use of bone grafts in the maxillary sinus, nose or the alveolar ridge. Zygomatic implants are therefore the preferred option for treating tooth loss in patients who cannot have regular implants because of a lack of sufficient maxillary bone.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO COMPLETE THE TREATMENT?
After the zygomatic implants are placed, and generally within 24 hours of the procedure, patients will receive a fixed denture called an “immediate prosthesis.” The final prosthesis is created after a 4-month period of using the provisional fixed teeth, during which time a soft diet is recommended. Throughout these first few months, it is normal for the inflammation in the gums to reduce; this creates gaps between the prosthesis and the gums that get bigger over time. The final prosthesis will fill these gaps and correct other technical and aesthetic aspects.
WHAT IS THE SUCCESS RATE OF THIS PROCEDURE?
At 92%, treating tooth loss with fixed prosthesis anchored on zygomatic implants has a very high 10-year success rate. With new developments such as the ZAGA method, these implants now improve patients’ prognosis by reducing the number of related complications.
WHAT TYPE OF TEETH WILL I HAVE AFTER THE PROCEDURE?
After the zygomatic implants are placed, and generally within 24 hours of the procedure, patients will receive a fixed denture called an “immediate prosthesis.” The process of permanently screwing-on teeth to the implants immediately after the operation for implant placement is called “immediate loading.” With this process, patients must have an understanding of the biological process of bone tissue repair, along with the technical aspects that must be considered for this immediate prosthesis. The general recommendation is for patients to maintain a soft diet and not smoke for approximately four months.
WHY SHOULD I CHOOSE THE ZAGA METHOD FOR MY ZYGOMATIC IMPLANT TREATMENT?
The specialized professional that follows the ZAGA method understands and empathizes with the patient’s pain, however it manifests. Patient satisfaction is the main objective of all members of Zygoma Integrated Solutions.
With the ZAGA platform, ZAGA Centers are places where regional or local patients with severe maxillary atrophy can receive treatment when they are referred by a ZAGA Partner. This makes them the quintessential experts in the treatment of maxillary atrophy or bone loss. ZAGA Centers are in constant contact with affiliated general practitioners (ZAGA Partners) through the ZAGA platform, and therefore both will always have the information they need to provide individualized treatment.
ZAGA Centers are unique in that they use protocols that guarantee optimal long-term results. Moreover, they have access to state-of-the-art technology, such as ZAGA-design zygomatic implants, specially made to fit each individual anatomy.