Two Dental Implant Procedures For People With Weak Jaw Bones

Posted on: 22 February 2022

The endosteal dental implant is the most common procedure done today. While highly effective, this type of implant requires the jaw bone to be dense and strong enough to support the titanium post that holds the crown. However, people with insufficient bone mass don't have to resign themselves to getting fitted with dentures. Here are two alternative procedures that can help those with weak jawbones get dental implants.

Zygomatic Implants

Cosmetic dentists generally prefer placing the implant post directly into the jaw bone, but they will use other bones to secure replacement teeth if necessary. One option, called zygomatic implants, bypasses the jaw altogether and fastens the implants to the cheekbones.

Unlike the jaw, the bones in the cheeks don't lose mass or otherwise degrade due to tooth loss. In fact, cheekbones tend to be denser and stronger than what's found in the mouth. However, since these bones are farther away from the mouth than the jaw, the cosmetic dentist has to use long screws to anchor the implants, which may mean longer installation and healing times.

Thus, though this procedure can be used to install a single implant, it is more cost-effective to use it in cases where multiple teeth need to be replaced. It's also a good alternative for patients who prefer to have implant-supported dentures as the posts are strong enough to hold a full set of teeth.

Additional benefits to zygomatic implants include an immediate-loading option where the crown can be installed on the post the same day and the elimination of most supplementary procedures that may be required to install standard implants, such as a sinus lift or bone graft.

Be aware, though, like any medical procedure, there is a risk of complications occurring. These include the small possibility of developing sinusitis, oral fistulas, or paresthesia. It's essential you discuss your medical history with the cosmetic dentist and follow any aftercare directives to reduce your risk of experiencing adverse side effects.

Subperiosteal Dental Implants

Sometimes using the bones is not an option, regardless of where the implant posts will be placed. This is often the case when the patient suffers from a medical issue that affects bone development (e.g. osteoporosis) or is taking medication that adversely impacts their skeletal system.

In these cases, the cosmetic dentist may opt to use a special dental appliance to hold the implants in place. Called subperiosteal dental implants, this procedure involves placing a wire frame between the jaw and gum tissue and attaching the dental implants to that instead of the bone.

The primary benefit of this type of implant is that the installation and recovery time is significantly less because you're only waiting for the gum tissue to heal, which usually just takes a few weeks. With endosteal implants, you have to wait for the post to integrate with the jaw bone, which can take up to six months or more.

Subperiosteal implants may also be cheaper depending on the number of teeth you need to have replaced. Costs can vary depending on location and provider, so it's best to talk to a cosmetic dentist in your area to obtain accurate pricing information for all of the dental implant procedures you're considering.

It's important to note that, like all implants, subperiosteal does have its drawbacks and the most notable one is that the teeth aren't as stable as they would be if they were implanted directly into the bone. Because of this, you may need to make adjustments to your diet to prevent damage to your mouth and promote longevity.

For more information about these implant procedures or to have any other questions about dental implants answered, contact a local cosmetic dental clinic, such as Total Freedom Dental Implant Center.