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Zygomatic Dental Implants: An Overview

If there is severe maxillary jaw resorption, then zygomatic implants can provide a solution for you. Rather than augmenting bone, this procedure allows us to place longer implants reaching into the “cheekbones,” where natural bone quality is often at its best. These implants are placed in conjunction with standard dental implants to provide the needed stability, resulting in a permanently fixed prosthesis that resembles your natural teeth and preserves your facial appearance. Dr. Ali Alijanian is one of the few surgeons in the Walnut Creek, California, area that performs this procedure routinely. Please call our practice at 925-934-7888 for additional information or to schedule your zygomatic implants consultation.

A Teeth Replacement Solution for Those With the Most Severe Form of Bone Loss
If you have been told you are not a candidate for conventional dental implants or that dentures are your only option, zygomatic implants were designed with you in mind. Zygomatic implants, also known as rescue implants, are an alternative to traditional dental implants and bone grafting when there is insufficient bone in the upper jaw.

A Bone Grafting Alternative
Patients who have moderate, advanced, or even extreme resorption in the upper jaw and do not have enough bone structure to support dental implants can benefit from zygomatic implants — implants that are placed into to the zygoma, or cheekbone. The procedure does not involve bone grafting (or the lengthy six-month healing period), so implants can be placed immediately.

Zygomatic Implants: The Process
At our office, we begin with a consultation in which we use advanced technology to gather information pertaining to your case. We use presurgical 3D planning with CBCT scans to develop a comprehensive overview. This ensures that each implant is placed with precision and accuracy.

During surgery, we anchor long implant screws in the zygoma, a thick and solid bone near the sinus, also known as the cheekbone. Typically, the process requires the use of two zygomatic implants in combination with two to four traditional implants. The traditional implants are placed in the anterior region, toward the front of the jaw where the upper front teeth were previously located. If you have teeth that need to be extracted prior to zygomatic implant placement, they can be removed during this single surgery.

This is a patient that had Zygomatic implants placed back in 2007 (See Pano). The patient presented with sinus complications 20 years later. Of note is the bone loss noted around the upper left zygomatic implant which led to an oral antral communication resulting in chronic sinusitis (See Pano dated 2023). The implant is fully integrated at the zygomatic bone level, however there is a communication due to the alveolar bone loss. The approach to this patient is to cut the implant at the base of the zygoma and remove the trans antral and alveolar portion of the implant (See Video & Post Op Pano), allowing us to eliminate the oral antrocommunication. This is the reason why the ZAGAT zygomatic anatomy guided approach has been established and further reason why we are avoiding the placement of the zygomatic implant in the sinus as much as possible when there is inadequate bone at the alveolar level (Less than 4 -5 mm). We will be discussing all this in detail at the Centurion Dental Practi(CE)nter Course, September 22 & 23rd, Zygomatic Implant with Digital Workflow.

The Benefits of Zygomatic Dental Implants
Zygomatic implant surgery is safe and predictable, a procedure that is performed every day by our highly skilled oral surgeon. This revolutionary treatment allows us to send our patients out the door with a fully functional set of teeth. The benefits include:

  • Immediate loading of fixed teeth
  • No bone grafting
  • Affordability
  • Comfort through IV sedation
  • Quick treatment and recovery time
  • Single surgery
  • No sinus lift

Who Can Place Zygomatic Implants?
The surgical skill involved in placing zygomatic implants requires extensive expertise, experience and training. At our practice, our Dr. Alijanian has been formally trained in zygomatic placement and has perfected the craft of carefully placing each zygomatic implant.

Does Zygomatic Implant Surgery Hurt?
At our practice, your safety and comfort is paramount. For a more comfortable experience, we can administer special anti-inflammatory medications through intravenous sedation to reduce postoperative pain. Any discomfort experienced when getting zygomatic implants is similar to that of regular bone grafting procedures. Most of our patients are surprised by how easy their recovery is. You may have mild bruising, and any pain can be easily managed with over-the-counter pain medications, such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen.

We offer life-changing zygomatic implants to those who have lost teeth in the upper jaw and are unable to have dental implants due to extreme jawbone deterioration and lack of chewing strength. First introduced in Europe in 1988 and then in the U.S. in 1998, zygomatic implants have a long-standing success rate.

A solution for those who have been told they have the most severe form of bone loss, zygomatic implants allow our patients to achieve maximum oral function and an aesthetically pleasing smile. If you are interested in learning more about our zygomatic implants, contact us today at 925-934-7888 so we can schedule a consultation.

Patient Testimonial: Zygomatic Implants
Bob W.
Zygomatic Implants — Fixed Prosthesis
I want to thank you for my new smile, as well as telling you about the two doctors my dentist referred me to in 2008. The first doctor said he might be able to help; however, he was reluctant to express too much optimism because of the lack of bone he had to work with. The second doctor’s diagnosis was about the same, although he wasn’t even willing to discuss any options. So, I figured I was stuck with my Poligrip for the rest of my life.

Then one day in late 2009, I thought I would give it one more try. I don’t remember where I got your number, but I called and set up an appointment. As soon as you saw the X-rays, I’ll never forget it: you said, “No problem,” and explained to me that you could put the posts in at an angle to give them more depth and strength to support the implant. I was so excited!

I would also like to thank you for supplying me with the necessary information pamphlets and verbal indoctrination regarding how each step would proceed from month to month. When you told me the time involved from start to finish was about one year, I thought, “Wow, that’s a long time!” However, as the different stages passed, the time overall passed so quickly.

The best part was that I never went a minute without teeth, due to your clever coordination. As one set of temporary teeth was removed for adjustments, there was always another to follow immediately, allowing me to eat every day, and that is a pretty high priority since I’m retired. (You’ll find out its grandchildren and food!) A couple of benefits that actually changed my life are: I don’t run out forgetting to glue my teeth in; I can again articulate my words, saving embarrassment; and the best is being able to order steak and eggs instead of an omelet.

Your office staff is the friendliest and most efficient I have ever worked with. It’s obvious you spend important time in hiring and training.

I’ll check in with you occasionally; thanks again and have a wonderful summer.



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