Alternatives to Bone Grafting for Dental Implants

bone loss round rock tx

Bone Grafting is a critical procedure that can help people go from being weak candidates for dental implants to a candidate that is strongly considered. However, there are some cases in which even bone grafting won’t make a person a strong candidate for dental implants. But when you turn to an oral surgeon, you’ll find that you have more options beyond bone grafting!

Take a look at the alternative styles of dental implants an oral surgeon will offer to keep dental implants on the table, when other dentists tell you they’re off the table:

Pterygoid And Zygomatic Dental Implants

If you’ve consulted with a general dentist about dental implants first, there’s a chance you never heard the term “pterygoid” or “zygomatic” used when you were told you weren’t a strong candidate for dental implants due to extensive bone loss in your jawbone.

Here’s what these alternative styles of dental implants offer:

Zygomatic – This style of dental implant is embedded in the cheekbone and angled to provide optimum stability and support for your dental restorations.

Pterygoid – This style of dental implant is embedded in the pterygoid plates, targeting dense and sturdy cortical bone. Not only does this route eliminate the need for a bone graft, it also makes a sinus lift procedure unnecessary since the implants can be installed to avoid the sinuses.

XRay of Pterygoid and Zygomatic Implants

Understanding Zygomatic Dental Implants

Unlike conventional dental implants, which are secured in the jawbone, zygomatic dental implants are surgically placed in the zygomatic (cheek) bones. With support coming from a strong, stable facial bone, these dental implants do not require alterations of the jawbone, such as bone grafting, to support a bridge of fixed teeth. Zygomatic implants are one of the most complex surgeries in implant dentistry and few oral surgeons are trained in this procedure.

Zygomatic dental implants may sound more invasive than conventional treatments, but they can be placed in one surgical procedure without any additional bone grafting while you are under anesthesia. Our oral surgeon will use 3D cone beam CT scans to digitally plan your treatment before you arrive. During your procedure, your implants will be placed in strategic positions in your bone to ensure maximum stability. This procedure may also involve placing conventional dental implants where the bone in your jaw is most dense.

Understanding Pterygoid Dental Implants

Similar to Zygomatic implants in that they target a region of your skull unaffected by jawbone loss, Pterygoid Dental Implants goes through your pterygoid fossa (a hollow space behind your jaw) into your pterygoid plates, instead of your jawbone to secure your abutments. Pterygoid plates are very dense, cortical bones behind your jaw that even with jawbone loss, remains strong. This type of implant is a great alternative to getting a sinus lift for those patients who do not have enough jawbone for traditional implants. Pterygoid implants tend to have high success rates, low complication levels, and high biological acceptance levels (ref 1).

Often these two types of implants will be used either separately or in conjunction with each other in order to properly seat Full Arch Replacements in patients who have been previously rejected from getting traditional implant options.


Though pterygoid and zygomatic dental implants take more skill and experience to properly place, they can also save you money by eliminating the need for supporting surgeries such as bone grafts and sinus lifts.

The best way to find out what type of dental implants are right for you is to talk with an oral surgeon that specializes in placing conventional, zygomatic and pterygoid dental implants.

Diagram of Pterygoid and Zygomatic Implants

Solutions For Bone Loss In Round Rock, TX

Advanced Dental Implant Center in beautiful Austin, Texas, has a long-standing reputation of high-quality care. That reputation was formed by our expert dentists. With over thirty thousand dental implants placed, Dr. Dan Holtzclaw has performed many successful procedures on patients with bone loss problems!

Have the experts handle this and schedule a consultation with our experienced and friendly doctors, Dr. Dan Holtzclaw and Dr. Juan Gonzalez, to discuss how our dental implant practices are better than the rest! To schedule a free first consultation at our office in Austin, TX, call us at (512) 456-3161 or by email us at infoaustin@diadentalimplants.com. Let us provide the highest quality dental care and heal your dental woes with less fear than ever before!


1 – Comprehensive treatment concepts, Pterygoid implants, Foundation for Oral Rehabilitation, https://www.for.org/en/treat/treatment-guidelines/edentulous/treatment-options/comprehensive-treatment-concepts/comprehensive-treatment-concepts-pterygoid-implants

2 – Zygomatic implants: indications, techniques and outcomes, and the zygomatic success code, National Library of Medicine, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25123760/

3 – Zygomatic Implants, American College of Prosthodontists, https://www.prosthodontics.org/assets/1/7/Zygomatic_Implants.pdf

4 – Implant Options for Maxillary Posterior Resorbed Ridges: Basics to Beyond, International Journal of Current Research, https://www.journalcra.com/sites/default/files/issue-pdf/24432.pdf

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