4th September 2023

What’s the difference between traditional dental implants and zygomatic implants?

Tooth loss, or edentulism, is a persistent health problem around the world. There are many reasons why someone might lose some or all of their teeth, but limited solutions for how to replace them and prevent further damage for edentulous patients.

Traditional dentures, which fit over the gums and are removable like a retainer, do not solve all of the issues caused by missing teeth. They can also be uncomfortable, causing sore spots from slippage and embarrassment while speaking or eating.

Dental implants, on the other hand, are the gold standard of long-term tooth replacements. They are secured firmly and have the appearance and function of regular teeth, restoring aesthetics and confidence along with improving the patient’s bite and speech.

Low-maintenance dental implants are easy to care for in the same way as natural teeth, and are far more comfortable and longer-lasting than traditional dentures or bridges.

However, the type of dental implant that can be fitted depends on the patient’s overall health and jawbone stability, as well as the location and quantity of missing teeth.

If you don’t meet the criteria for traditional dental implants, zygomatic implants are a less well-known alternative option. Here’s a quick guide to the difference between these dental implants to help you understand which type you might need.

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How do traditional dental implants work?

A denture is a removable prosthetic that replaces missing teeth and soft tissues. It stays in place during the day using a dental adhesive to create a seal between your gums and the denture. Some dentures have steel clasps to secure them to remaining teeth.

Partial dentures can replace a few missing teeth, while full dentures can replace the complete set of teeth on the upper or lower jaw (or both jaws).

Dentures are designed to look like natural teeth and gums and restore the ability to bite and chew. They can be fitted to your gums regardless of your jawbone density, and the procedure is typically faster than getting dental implants.

First, the dentist takes an impression of your mouth to create a mould of the area that requires a denture. They will then study how your jaws align by testing your bite on wax blocks. These moulds are sent to the lab to create preliminary dentures.

When it’s ready, you will try out the model denture to check that it’s comfortable and make sure you’re happy with how it looks. The lab can then make any requested adjustments and create your final denture, which you will take home with you.

Even if you need an extraction or crown before you can have dentures fitted, the recovery time and denture creation process is relatively quick.

Dental implants vs Zygomatic Implants - Dental Solutions


How do zygomatic implants work?

When multiple teeth are lost, the areas of jawbone where their roots should be are no longer stimulated, and the body breaks down and reabsorbs the bone in a process called resorption. This results in bone atrophy, which can compromise the facial structure.

If the maxilla (upper jaw) can’t provide sufficient support for traditional dental implants without surgery, and the patient can’t or doesn’t want to undergo a bone graft or sinus lift, zygomatic implants offer an alternative for those with severe bone loss.

Sometimes called zygoma implants, these are surgically inserted into the zygoma – the cheekbones – above the maxillary bone. These bones are strong enough to provide a stable anchor for implant-retained bridges without the need for a bone graft.

Zygomatic implants can replace a full upper arch of teeth, being longer and stronger than traditional implants. They are inserted at a 45-degree angle on each side, which requires a specialist surgical technique performed by a maxillofacial surgeon.

While the procedure can be similar to traditional implants, requiring an implant surgery appointment with a temporary bridge fitted and then a second appointment for the permanent bridge, the benefit of zygomatic implants is that they can be fitted in one day.

These are known as ‘immediate placement’ or ‘same-day’ implants, because you can leave the dental practice with your new smile that same day. Patients don’t have to wait months to get their new teeth like they might have to with traditional implants.

With a higher success rate and minimally invasive surgery compared to a bone graft, zygomatic implants provide a faster and more straightforward alternative for patients who have previously been told they don’t have enough bone for dental implants.

Zygomatic implants can give these patients long-lasting, natural-looking, and completely secure replacement teeth with all the benefits of traditional implants.

To find out more about what zygomatic implants are here.


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Dental implants vs Zygomatic implants

To summarise, here are the main differences between traditional and zygomatic implants:

  • Anchor bones – conventional implants are anchored in the upper jaw or lower jaw, while zygoma implants are anchored in the zygoma bone (sometimes partially in the upper jaw).
  • Sizes – zygoma implant screws are three to five times longer than conventional implant screws, because the zygoma bones they anchor into are located further from the gum line.
  • Placements – zygoma implants are used to replace upper arches only, while traditional implants can replace teeth in both the upper jaw and lower jaw as needed.
  • Candidates – traditional dental implants require sufficient jawbone density, which some candidates may need supplementary surgery to achieve, while zygomatic implants don’t.

Both have a very high success rate, but zygomatic implants are slightly more reliable, as they can also be used to rehabilitate failed traditional implants in the upper jaw.

The longevity of both implant types also promises excellent value, as the implanted posts can last many decades, and the crowns or bridges can last for 10–25 years, depending on how well the patient cares for them and maintains their oral hygiene.

It’s tricky to compare costs, as the price depends on the number of teeth being replaced and any surgeries (from extractions to grafts) that may also be required.

Zygomatic implants are usually the most cost-effective option over traditional implants with bone replacement surgeries, but in either case, patients can spread the cost of investing in their implant treatment with a dental finance plan.

Dental implants vs Zygomatic Implants - Dental Solutions

Which dental implants are right for you?

When it comes to the question of which type of dental implant is right for you – traditional implants or zygomatic implants – the answer depends on factors such as the condition of your teeth and jaws, your personal preferences, and your budget.

It’s an important decision with long-term results, which is why you need the advice of an expert implant dentist to help you understand which is the best choice for your case.

In some cases, zygomatic implants in the upper arch can be combined with traditional implants in the lower arch to replace missing teeth in both jaws.

Here at Dental Solutions, we provide both dental implants in Warrington and zygomatic implants in Warrington, so you can come to us for either treatment.

Our highly experienced team can provide the best dental treatment for your individual needs, from the initial examination to aftercare and each procedure in between, so get in touch with Dental Solutions today to arrange a dental implant consultation.

Call us on 01925 756 565 to book your consultation, or email any queries you might have about our dental implant procedures to [email protected] and we’ll be in touch to answer all your questions as soon as possible.

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Based on 287 reviews
Michael Sparke
Michael Sparke
Initially I was quite apprehensive about having 2 implants, but upon my consultation with Gavin ., i felt encouraged by his knowledge and advice . The whole experience in a very relaxed atmosphere could not have been any better. I am well impressed by their professionalism and expertise in this Practice and would most certainly give them a Top Class recommendation .
Kay Burton
Kay Burton
I just had my implant fitted today, the whole process was painless, I'm so pleased with everything and would highly recommend Dental solutions, the whole team was fabulous 👌
Mike White
Mike White
The best experience. When you step through the door you are met by the friendliest receptionist,Which continues through the practice. If you want the best dental care and treatments across the board this is where you need to go.
Charlotte Bell
Charlotte Bell
I came to dental solutions with severe anxiety of dentists and Lauren was so helpful, kind and patient with me. For the first time in years I've found a dentist who I feel comfortable with. Thank you
Gill S
Gill S
I had a wisdom tooth extracted by Gavin after having toothache due to my tooth breaking. I was nervous as I had not had a tooth removed by injection before. Gavin was reassuring, explained the procedure fully and it was over quickly with no pain. All staff at the practice are caring, friendly and professional and I have been going for many years. I highly recommend Dental Solutions.
Thank you to Gavin and team at Dental Solutions for the superb dental work done yesterday. As well as being highly professional and very good at what they do the place has a great atmosphere which makes going to the dentist a pleasure.
tracy grensinger
tracy grensinger
Amazing experience. I felt in safe friendly professional hands with all the team . Thank you!
Zoe Manley
Zoe Manley
Can’t speak highly enough of this practice and in particular Lauren. 2 years ago I walked in and was so nervous I cried just as the sight of the chair. Her and the staff have been so patient and understanding and have worked with me to overcome my phobia. This week I had a filling and was absolutely fine, my family couldn’t believe it. Reception staff are lovely and really accommodating too. So glad I found them, I don’t dread the dentist anymore.
David Partridge
David Partridge
A really Five Star Dental Practice! Upon arrival I was greeted by their most friendly welcoming receptionists. it seems nothing is 'too much trouble' to them. Gavin is similarly very friendly and the surgery is kitted out with the most high-tech modern equipment. On my first visit Gavin examined my teeth and explained my options to me giving me his recommendation for treatment and reasons why. Their Co-ordinator prepared a detailed quote for my treatment and went through it in detail with me, ensuring I understood everything; she had plenty of time for me as a patient. From the outset I had complete confidence in entrusting them with my dental care and the final results are truly amazing. Gavin and Richard could not have been more professional and my treatment was made as painless as possible. Dental Solutions provide a truly outstanding service and I thank them for my new 'long lost' smile and renewed confidence, especially when dining out and talking with people. I can't recommend them too highly.
Carole Dodwell
Carole Dodwell
A first class experience from start to finish. Despite being fearful of visiting the dentist, Gavin put me at ease with his gentle unhurried manner. I was surprised at how relaxed I actually felt undergoing treatment for a crown and the removal/replacement of front teeth veneers. Having felt self conscious about my front teeth for a long time, I decided to have my old veneers replaced. The results were amazing and far exceeded my expectations. What Gavin achieved was nothing short of a work of art, boosting my confidence tenfold. The practice itself is very welcoming, the customer service excellent and the staff are all very friendly and kind. I cannot recommend this dental practise highly enough.
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