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Bone atrophy is now no longer a taboo. Causes, remedies and solutions

bone atrophy zygomatic implantology

Unfortunately, suffering from bone atrophy is very common and often causes you to lose confidence and self-confidence, as well as significantly worsening your quality of life. But what is bone atrophy? Are there any suitable solutions? Is it possible to remedy this through implantology?

Bone atrophy. What is it and why is it so scary

Sometimes it can happen to be faced with the loss of some teeth and the disappearance of the alveolar bone which has the function of retaining the teeth in the arches. Loss of teeth determines the disappearance of the alveolar bone and the consequent bone atrophy. When you hear about lack of quality and quantity of bone, you are clearly referring to a phenomenon which is precisely defined as bone atrophy. The bones of the oral cavity, for a variety of reasons such as disease or wear, can reabsorb over time, decreasing in volume and becoming more fragile. As this condition progresses, there is a risk of incurring edentulism, even total in the most serious cases. Many patients often confide to their referring specialist that their mouth is in very bad condition, but that they do not have the courage to face the problem. So it happens that the simplest thing to do is keep everything inside and ignore the problems or hide them under the classic Persian carpet. Finding the strength to face fears and fears before going to the dentist can take a good deal of courage. It is generally the doubts that we carry within us that feed our anxieties that hold us back. When faced with serious dental problems, it is understandable to feel more fragile. You don’t know who to trust, you think about the money needed for treatment and if you will have the strength and courage to face the pain. All of this leads to a state of anxiety that magnifies your fears and keeps you still. Often it is precisely the patients with the most serious problems who postpone the visit to the dentist and intervene too late. Postponing the first visit, however, only exacerbates those complications and makes any dental treatment much more complex and expensive than it would be if you intervened in time.

Dental prostheses and lack of bone

Dental Prosthesis

It is widely believed that it is not possible to make a dental implant with little bone. An axiom that is not entirely wrong, but which, compared to the past, turns out to be less and less truthful, but above all less and less universal. Thanks to the new technologies and protocols available to modern professionals, in fact, bone atrophy is no longer a sentence to partial or total lack of teeth and the consequent embarrassment of smiling. There are two alternatives that represent a solution, but unfortunately these treatments are not applicable to everyone and only some patients have the necessary characteristics to receive them. Bone atrophy, especially the maxillary one, in fact, can represent an impediment to the classic dental implant surgery because the bone is not sufficient to support it and, therefore, to the correct application of the procedures normally used to replace the missing dental elements. There are essentially two procedures to combat edentulism: removable prostheses and dental implantology.

  • Removable prosthesis: the classic and commonly called dentures. A very common solution which, until a few years ago, was almost a practice. This is also because the removable prosthesis is also economically more accessible than an implant surgery. With constant and long-lasting use, however, dentures tend to lose stability. This is caused by bone resorption of the tissues on which the denture rests. In the long run, the bone thins to such an extent that it is practically impossible to apply the prosthesis correctly.
  • Dental implants: modern implantology techniques, on the other hand, represent the safest and most lasting solutions for regaining enviable teeth and being able to chew freely again and be proud of your smile. However, these interventions require a certain quantity and quality of bone. The artificial roots are inserted into the hard tissues of the periodontium and integrate into them. For the treatment to be successful, however, it becomes vitally important that the osseointegration takes place correctly. Bone atrophy, therefore, can be a considerable impediment.

And, therefore, how can all this be remedied, what are the two solutions and possible alternatives to a marked bone atrophy?

Bone atrophy: zygomatic implantology or bone grafting?

Now, let’s go back to the initial questions and doubts that many patients have and which they do not always manage to go beyond because they do not receive the necessary assistance and adequate answers. Can I perform dental implant surgery even if I have little bone, or even worse, I have almost none left? The answer, as widely said and yes, even if it depends from patient to patient and from case to case. There are two alternatives to combat bone atrophy: bone regeneration and/or zygomatic implantology.

  • Bone regeneration. By bone grafting we mean a complex surgical operation of autologous bio-material with which, generally, a part of bone is taken from the patient from other parts of the body to then be grafted into the mouth. Alternatively, the surgical graft is heterologous, ie of synthetic or animal origin. This type of procedure, however, has two contraindications: it is extremely invasive, but also very long. The patient, in fact, is forced into a therapy which overall can last up to a year. The patient, while recovering the amount of bone useful for the implant surgery, will have to wait at least two months, from the date of the graft, before proceeding with the insertion of the implants.
  • Zygomatic implantology. An innovative implant technique for the upper arch which represents the fastest, most reliable and least invasive procedure to solve bone atrophy problems. The insertion of the implants, in fact, takes place in just 24 hours and without particular pain for the patient. As simple as it may seem compared to bone grafting surgery, it is still a complex operation that must be performed by a dentist with proven experience in the field of implantology and with specific training in zygomatic implantology. Once the screws have been fixed to the cheekbone, the prostheses are screwed in, then the patient will end the session with a new smile. In our dental center in via Settembrini, 6, in Milan, in cases of patients with bone atrophy, we are able to perform both operations, but we prefer zygomatic implantology which guarantees greater patient comfort and higher success rates. For this reason, for some time now, our center has been making use of the experience of prof. Francesco Grecchi, one of the leading experts in Italy, with numerous references also abroad, in the field of zygomatic implantology.

Here are the three reasons to prefer zygomatic implantology

There are three main and most important reasons why zygomatic implantology is recommended and preferred to bone regeneration.

  • Surgery success rate: 98% with zygomatic bone dropping to 80% with bone graft;
  • Minor invasiveness: absence of pain and scars;
  • Duration of therapy: a single session with immediate loading, versus a procedure that lasts months if bone grafting is chosen.

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