Zygomatic dental implants: Nebraska surgeon offers safe teeth replacement

Man smiling in a dental chair

Whether you've just lost a tooth or you've dealt with dentures that don't fit for years, you may have considered dental implants. For patients without enough upper bone for traditional implants, bone grafting used to be the only dental implant solution. However, Nebraska Medicine oral and maxillofacial surgeon Jason Untrauer, MD, DDS, provides an alternative called zygomatic implants.

How zygomatic implants work

If your jawbone isn't thick enough, or it's too soft, for traditional dental implants, zygomatic implants may be right for you. Because there's no bone (or not enough bone) under the nose, the zygomatic implants fix to the cheekbone instead.

If you're used to wearing and readjusting dentures, you'll notice an immediate difference with zygomatic dental implants. "As time goes on, your dentures may not fit as well," says Dr. Untrauer. Zygomatic implants can get you back to talking, eating and smiling like normal. "Going from not being able to wear a denture to going home the next day with teeth that are screwed into your mouth – that don't move around – is huge."

Who does zygomatic dental implants?

Dr. Untrauer is the most experienced dental implant surgeon in the Omaha metro. He has been performing zygomatic implant surgery for ten years and counting. 

"Zygomatic implants are a beautiful option for patients who may not have enough bone for traditional dental implants," explains Dr. Untrauer. "Because they bypass the need for bone grafting, zygomatic implants speed up the time needed for recovery."

Jason Untrauer, MD, DDS
Oral and maxillofacial surgeon Jason Untrauer, MD, DDS, has ten years of experience with zygomatic implant surgery. "Zygomatic implants are a beautiful option for patients who may not have enough bone for traditional implants," he says.

Zygomatic implants heal faster than bone grafting

The alternative for people with insufficient jawbone is bone grafting. That's when a surgeon takes a piece of bone from part of your body, like the hip, and grafts it in the upper jaw. This process takes a long time – up to eight months – to heal.

"With extensive bone grafting, you'll go longer without teeth," explains Dr. Untrauer. "Because you don't want the denture pressing up against the bone grafting, it takes several months to heal before you can place the traditional implant on the grafted bone." 

"With zygomatic implants, you can have a temporary denture screwed in and fixed by the next day," says Dr. Untrauer. "You don't have to go without teeth for long." 

Zygomatic dental implants recovery time

Zygomatic dental implant surgery takes about three hours. You'll be under general anesthesia the whole time, so you won't feel a thing. It's an outpatient procedure, meaning you'll go home the same day. 

The recovery time for zygomatic implants takes less time than traditional dental implants take with additional bone grafting. 

Either the day of the surgery or the next day, your prosthodontist screws in a temporary denture while you heal from the surgery. You'll want to eat soft foods for a few weeks to a few months while you recover. After four to six months of wearing the temporary denture, all you'll need is your permanent dental implant.

How long do dental implants last?

Today's zygomatic implants are very durable. As long as you avoid infection, dental implants can last a lifetime.

To keep your dental implants infection-free, maintain great oral hygiene. Brush and floss your teeth regularly, and see your dentist twice a year for a more thorough cleaning. You'll also have regular checkups with your prosthodontist. It's a dental prosthesis, so components may wear over time.

What are zygomatic implants made of?

The implants are made of titanium to resist decay or breaking. A special property of the implants allows them to fuse to the bone. They're biocompatible, meaning the implants are designed for the body to accept them.

Like traditional implants, zygomatic implants are low-maintenance, permanent teeth. If you're interested in dental implants, schedule an appointment for a full examination and recommendation.

Wondering if dental implants are right for you?
Call 800.922.0000 to schedule a dental implant consultation.