Losing teeth is no longer the problem it was a few decades ago. Advances in dental technique and technology mean we can replace multiple missing teeth while retaining maximum support for them.
Looking back into the not-so-distant past, the primary option for replacing teeth was dentures. While dentures have always looked great, they were historically ill-fitting. Without roots that attach the replacement teeth to the jaw, chewing, talking, singing, and laughing could all become challenging.
Although dentures have dramatically improved, dentistry has found better solutions. Dental implants are now regarded as the gold standard for replacing teeth.
Dental implants use titanium posts to anchor a new tooth to the jaw. But replacing multiple teeth in this way is both impractical and expensive. And, if your jaw can’t support an implant, it can put this type of treatment out of reach.
Zygomatic and All-on-4s are two advanced innovations that make dental implant treatment accessible. In this guide, we’ll look at the differences between the two popular treatments and discuss the benefits of each.
How Do Dental Implants Work?
Although modern dentistry can claim to have invented them, dental implants have existed for thousands of years. Ancient Chinese people used bamboo pegs to replace missing teeth, while an Egyptian Pharoah was found to have a copper peg in his mouth. In 1965, the first titanium implant was placed, and since then, the modern dental implant has evolved.
A dental implant mimics the root of a tooth, anchoring to the jaw. We often use a single implant to support one life-like dental crown. Titanium implants are used because they are strong, lightweight, and biocompatible.
In the months following a dental implant placement, the jaw bone and titanium fuse together to create a solid supportive bond that makes biting and chewing feel entirely natural.
Understanding Bone Resorption
Before we delve into the different types of dental implants we can use, we should first discuss bone resorption. If it’s been a while since you lost your teeth or you have had advanced gum disease, your jaw may have lost the bone mass needed to support dental implants.
After you lose teeth, a natural process called resorption occurs. Because the jaw no longer needs to support the missing teeth, the minerals that make up the bone are taken elsewhere in the body via the bloodstream. This leaves your jaw thin and depleted. It can also affect your facial features causing your lips to sink and making you look older than you are.
To get a secure anchor from a dental implant, there needs to be sufficient bone density in your jaw.
If you have lost bone mass, one option is to get a bone graft or sinus lift. This procedure involves placing a portion of bone material onto the jaw. This additional material eventually binds in position in the same way as two halves of a broken heal. But bone grafts are time-consuming and add additional expense when replacing teeth.
What Are Zygomatic Implants?
The zygomatic implant takes its name from a facial bone called the zygoma, better known as the cheekbone. While ordinary dental implants are placed into the jawbone, zygomatic implants support replacement teeth in the upper arch only by accessing the more dense cheekbone.
To reach the cheekbone, a zygomatic implant needs to be longer than normal and must be placed at an angle. Using a combination of zygomatic implants and standard implants, we can replace the entire upper arch of teeth.
The Benefits of Zygomatic Implants
Zygomatic implants help rebuild your smile and restore your confidence even after jaw bone resorption. There’s no need for a bone graft or sinus lift before we place this type of implant, meaning fewer procedures and quicker results while saving you money.
The presence of dental implants will also stimulate the bone, reducing future resorption.
We use natural-looking materials to produce your replacement teeth. Your new smile will be custom-made.
What Are All-on-4s Dental Implants?
All-on-4 dental implants are designed to replace multiple teeth. Using four or six well-placed implants, we can support an entire arch. We’ll place two implants directly upright at the front of the jaw and then angled implants further back. Placing implants at an angle helps provide better support for several teeth.
Unlike zygomatic implants, we can use All-on-4s on both the upper and lower arches. Because All-on-4s are placed into the jaw, you will need sufficient density in the bone before surgery.
The Benefits of All-on-4 Implants
If you’ve lost several teeth, All-on-4 implants provide excellent support and allow you to smile, eat, talk, and laugh without requiring multiple procedures.
Surgery to place All-on-4s is quick. While traditional dental implants are placed across several appointments over a period of a few months, All-on-4 implants are placed in a single appointment. This means you can start enjoying your new smile immediately.
Once in place, All-on-4 implants will stimulate your jaw bone, preventing resorption and the prematurely aged appearance that comes with bone loss. Just like with zygomatic implants, we’ll use made-to-measure replacement teeth that blend seamlessly with the rest of your smile.
Finding the Right Dental Implant Treatment
Before determining which dental implant treatment is right for you, we’ll need to perform a thorough assessment. We use the latest digital technology to scan your teeth and jaws. This helps us find out whether you have adequate bone mass to support your implants.
During your assessment, we’ll also discuss your general health and lifestyle to ensure dental implants are a good fit for you.
Zygomatic and All-on-4 Implants in Surrey
Both zygomatic and all-on-4 dental implants are life-changing treatment options. Each procedure has its own benefits, so it’s essential that we explore the options with you to make sure they are right for you.
The skilled clinicians at our Cheam, Chessington, Stonecot, Sutton, and Worcester Park clinics are all here to help you make the right decision for the future of your smile.
Call us today to schedule your dental implant consultation.