Zygomatic Implants 101: Dr. Loetscher Skip to main content

Zygomatic Implants 101: Dr. Loetscher

Hi there. I’m Dr. Andy Loetscher, maxillofacial surgeon, and I wanted to talk to you a little bit about a technique we utilize called the zygomatic implant. And basically, it’s an excellent and highly successful solution for people that have no bone in their upper jaw. There’s many people out there that basically had been told that they’re not a candidate for implants because there’s no bone in their upper jaw, which is basically not true.

The upper jaw bone is the maxilla and above it are these dense bones called the zygomas that your cheekbones is zygomatic complex. And in those bones, we can place extra long implants. It’s like a dental implant, just longer that we can put into these bones and we can place implants and you literally can get a new set of solid teeth screwed in your mouth in a day.

And it’s a great thing for us to offer our patients. This technique has been around for many years, in the 80s and 90s, it was developed, but really in the last few years, the instrumentation has evolved to be much better basically out of Italy. And so now it’s a process that we can put these in with a very high success rate.

It’s very cost-effective, and we can put these in most people. When I say high success rate, the long term, the research, 12, 15 years is 97, 98% fully functional. So it’s a great thing to offer our patients. The benefits to you are you can come in and in one day be put to sleep in our surgery center, get your implants placed, all computerized planning, and so forth, and you get a new solid set of teeth the next day. And these are teeth that will be designed to look beautiful, you’re gonna have a nice smile, you can chew on them, go to social functions, enjoy life, just like you did with your original teeth when you were 20 years old.

It’s not a very painful process. I’d say half our patients don’t use a narcotic afterwards. It’s a two to three-day recovery. Maybe you get a little boozing in your eyes, but in a week you’re done. And it’s very cost-effective.

For many years, people that didn’t have a lot of bone, we literally would take your teeth out, take bone from their hip, and would reconstruct their jaws. And this point that I did a couple hundred of those a year for many, many years. And we put these implants in with a bone graft from their hip or from elsewhere, let it sit for four to six months, and then put your teeth in. Now, we eliminate the bone grafting discomfort with it, place these implants immediately. So it’s a pretty awesome process.

Our candidates for this are people that have basically no bone in their upper jaw. There’s a lot of people that have what we call terminal dentition, meaning your teeth have had periodontal disease or broken down quite a bit, and it’s not worth the time and trouble and effort and money to rebuild your mouth for something that might fail in a few years, as we do in those patients.

Then sadly, there’s a lot of patients that have had implants placed poorly or wrongly, or prostheses made that are not cleansable, and so their implants are failing. So there’s a percentage of our patients that we treat, we have to basically rebuild their mouths.

When we do this, basically we have three goals. When we treat our patient. Wanna give you a beautiful set of teeth, we start with that. Number two, we wanna make these teeth cleansable and hygienic. I want these teeth to be put in so that you can keep them clean, they’re gonna last your lifetime. Whether you’re 35 years old, 50, 85 years old, we put them in all these age brackets, so that you can go home and you can spend two minutes in the morning, two minutes in the evening doing just traditional cleaning your teeth techniques, and they’ll last your lifetime. That’s actually a really big deal. You make the prosthesis clean that we deliver you, and that’s one of the advantages of our lab.

Number third, we make these retrievable. You may not appreciate this, but these prostheses need to be screwed into place. That’s why their saddles rock. We design them so the screw access openings come in from behind the teeth or on the top of the teeth in the back. So they’re easy to take in and out, like, in 10 minutes. So when you get done with these and two or three years later, if you move to a small town like Buke, Iowa, where I’m from, or you go to Naples, Florida, you go to east France, anywhere in the world, this is traditional dentistry. They can take these little filling plugs out unscrew them, clean underneath them, put them back in. And even though it’s not absolutely necessary, I’ve been doing these for 25 years, people’s bridges need to be removed on then, so their retrievability is a big factor.

Why come to us? I’m gonna toot my own horn, but I am basically one of the most reputable and experienced surgeons in the area, probably in the Southeast. It’s what we do. We offer for full-service implant dentistry, which is important to you because not everybody needs zygomatic implants. You may come in and, I’m an experienced treatment planner, we can decide what treatment is best for you. And so that actually is a big factor for people, just the experience in designing what needs to be done.

We’re very cost-effective where our prices are as competitive as anybody. And I truly believe that we deliver one of the best products anywhere in the U.S. I mean, it’s equal to anywhere. And part of that is we’re very proficient, we have an in-house lab that works here with us. It’s basically, I own it.

We’re experienced lab techs, I have a really experienced staff and basically, what we do here every day are dental implants. And another thing is you’ll find out we have a really friendly and polite staff. We take good care of you, we have a concierge service and so it’s a full-service, like, facility that provides good service to you.”


No bone? No problem!

If you have ever been told you don’t have enough bone for dental implants then our zygomatic implants may be the solution for you.

Patients who have undergone bone loss are not ideal candidates for traditional implants. Zygomatic implants have made dental implants available to even those with severe bone loss.

We utilize the Zygoma to place implants – 1 to 2 per side to facilitate support for your upper prosthesis. This can be done in conjunction with traditional implants or 2 zygomatic implants per side. Sometimes with a more posterior implant (Pterygoid Implant). This allows us to provide immediate implant supported teeth the day of your surgery.

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