Dental implants may be the ideal choice for tooth replacement, but not everyone will qualify for implants. If you’ve been told by a dentist that implants aren’t an option, this can leave you feeling disappointed, frustrated, or even completely devastated if you’re missing all of your teeth.
Thankfully, there are alternative treatments out there that still offer permanent tooth replacement even if you don’t qualify for implants. At ARCHPOINT Implant Dentistry, we’re able to assist even the most unique of patients when it comes to full mouth rehabilitation.
Why Do I Not Qualify for Dental Implants?
There are several factors that can impact whether or not someone will qualify for dental implants. For instance, certain medications that you’re taking or recent hospitalizations/surgeries could contraindicate any oral surgery without special medical clearance. The biggest reason, however, that people cannot get dental implants is because of inadequate bone support.
Why Does Bone Density Matter?
Extensive bone loss makes it impossible to physically install a dental implant because implants require thick, dense bone to support them. If there isn’t any, the implant cannot withstand normal biting or chewing forces and will fail, even if they’re paired with several other implants.
Bone loss can be caused by advanced periodontal disease or as the result of tooth extractions, where the adjacent bone shrinks away once the tooth is removed.
Solutions for Bone Loss in Implant Candidates
For a typical implant case, adjunctive therapies like bone grafting can help add back the necessary amount of bone support. Bone grafting needs at least a few months to “take” before an implant can usually be installed. That being said, there are certain circumstances where even a healthy amount of bone augmentation/grafting won’t create the appropriate installation point for an implant. This is why those candidates are told they don’t qualify. At least not when it comes to “classic” or “traditional” styles of implants.
Fortunately, that’s not always the end of the rope for people with missing teeth. Alternative options are still out there, assuming you have a specialist with the skills and resources you need.
Alternative Treatment for People Who Don’t Qualify for Implants
In the past, people who didn’t qualify for implants usually had no other option than to wear dentures or partial dentures. And if they had extensive bone loss, that meant an uncomfortable prosthesis and a lot of denture adhesive. There really weren’t any other options.
Side-Effects of Bad Dentures and Missing Teeth
When people don’t have a comfortable-fitting denture, or they’re unable to get dental implants, it can significantly impact both their diet and social life. Ultimately, their quality of life suffers. Everything from eating a meal to being able to talk around their friends can be embarrassing, if not impossible.
Because a healthy dentition (set of teeth) is essential for proper nutritional intake and communication—not to mention self-confidence—implant specialists developed a modified implant design to overcome barriers for these types of patients. They’re called Zygomatic dental implants.
What are Modified Zygomatic Implant Designs?
A typical dental implant is about the size of a normal tooth root. While traditional implants make up the majority of restorations for people with missing teeth, not everyone will qualify for implants. Or the implants are too large, short, or inadequate for specific scenarios. That’s where modified designs like Zygomatic implants come into play.
What are Zygomatic Dental Implants?
Zygomatic dental implants are longer than your typical implant because they don’t set in your mouth the same way as conventional implants do. They’re actually much longer, making them ideal for people who lack the healthy bone height necessary for an implant installation. The longer design can be placed at an angle, maximizing healthy bone in adjacent facial structures. In particular, the zygomatic arch, which is your cheekbone. The tilted and rotated installation of this implant design ensures a strong support system for your new smile. When you talk and eat, you won’t know any different! Inside of your mouth, they look almost identical to “traditional” implants.
How Zygomatic Dental Implants Work
Since Zygomatic implant designs aren’t limited by the bone immediately around your typical tooth root, they offer added support for people experiencing extensive tooth loss. When placed at strategic points in your mouth (usually one or two on either side of your upper jaw,) Zygomatic implants can also be paired with traditional implants in the front of your mouth to work together as a full set.
Depending on your preferences and oral health, Zygomatic implants can support restorations like:
All-on-4 or All-on-6:
All-on-4 and All-on-6 implants are a preferred solution for anyone experiencing full-mouth tooth loss. These hybrid appliances are less like a denture and more like a full-arch, streamlined dental bridge. They use four or six implants for support, hence the name. Each one is permanently set in place, assuming the patient qualifies to have enough implants to support it. Zygomatic implants bridge the gap for access to care in individuals with extensive bone loss, who might not otherwise qualify for implant systems like All-on-4/All-on-6.
Stabilized Overdenture (if You Don’t Qualify for Implants)
A removable snap-in denture (or “clip-on” plate) that attaches to your dental implants. The implant attachments keep it securely fitted in place throughout the day, but you still remove it in the evening before going to bed. The stability of the implants keeps your prosthesis from rocking, lifting, or rubbing since it’s fixed to the implants while you’re wearing them.
Don’t Qualify for Implants? Visit Our DFW Specialists
ARCHPOINT Implant Dentistry has a team of expertly trained dental implant specialists who cater to patients of all backgrounds. Including those who may have been told that they don’t qualify for dental implants because of extensive bone loss or something else.
To find out if Zygomatic dental implant designs are right for you, we invite you to reserve a no-obligation evaluation at our location in Ft. Worth or Dallas. Our experts will personally evaluate your oral anatomy and help create a plan to reconstruct your smile in the best—and healthiest—manner possible.