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  • Writer's pictureSoong-Ryong Jung (David) , DDS, MS, PhD

Ask a Dental Implant Surgeon from Plano, TX: What is a Pterygoid Implant?

Plano, TX - We touched onzygomatic implants earlier. They are a dental implant that change the location of where the screw gets placed. A long screw would get put at an angle that would pierce the zygomatic bone before the dental surgeon places an abutment and crown. The long dental screw in the zygomatic bone is a way to bypass the lack of volume that often occurs when the upper mandible suffers wear and tear. It is often the case with periodontitis and other types of oral disease. Interestingly enough though, the zygomatic implant is not the only one that exists. There is another dental implant that works as an alternative. One that has its own uses and purposes. So, what is it and how often does this type of dental implant procedure occur? Is it an easy or difficult procedure? Let's find out about:

Pterygoid Implants

Just like zygomatic implants, they name pterygoid implants after the location of the screw. Dental surgeons named the implant after the pterygomaxillary region, the upper part of the skull that sits behind the maxilla. The pterygoid implants are often an option for treatment when the upper molars need replacement. Experts have often debated over the merits and drawbacks of the pterygoid implants given the location, requirements, and other factors that dental surgeons need to make it work. But given today's modern dental implants with titanium and other related metals aren't that old of a concept, we can pinpoint how pterygoid implants came to be in the first place and how it measures up today.

Who Invented Pterygoid Implants?

The first person to propose the use of pterygoid implants, was the acclaimed father of implantology Leonard Linkow. He was nominated in 1969 for a Nobel prize in medicine, making him the only dentist that ever received that award. He also held 36 patents in dental science. While Linkow was the first to propose such an idea in 1975, he did not go on to further define it. That distinction belongs toJ.F. Tulasne, who would introduce the method in his paper Implant Treatment of Missing Posterior Dentition in 1989. There is little we know about him. However, what we know is that his work was the cornerstone ofmultiple publications regarding dental implant surgery.

Tulasne states that " The pterygoid implant starts in the tuberosity region of the maxillary region and then moves in the direction toward both the sphenoid bone and the hard palate bone." The length and depth of the screw is to serve as a strong anchor for a molar implant.

Why do Dental Implant Surgeons use Pterygoid Implants?

There are a host of advantages and disadvantages that comes with the pterygoid implants. According to the Instituto Maxillofacial of Barcelona,

"Treatment with zygomatic or pterygoid implants has three major advantages:

· It is a good alternative to bone grafts for patients who suffer from considerable maxillary bone resorption.

· Shortens the treatment time safely, quickly and conveniently for the patient.

· It guarantees improved aesthetics for every patient, regardless of the quality of their bone for dental implant placement.

· However, zygomatic and pterygoid implant placement are used alongside normal implants, depending on the quality and quantity of the patient’s bone."

It is also important to note that it is also a way to use dental implants and worry less about any sinus issues that could occur from regular dental implant surgery. The American College of Prosthodontists state, "Implants in the pterygoid region offer a scientifically validated and predictable treatment option. Pterygoid implants help to overcome the need for maxillary sinus elevation and bone grafting procedures and may simplify the surgical phase of prosthodontic treatment."It also has a high success rate. The Foundation of Oral rehabilitation stated, "The average success rate for pterygoid implants lies at 90.7%." Those are good odds.


The only disadvantages that are foreseeable right now is that the procedure itself is too new. Because of that, we don't know how long this type of dental implants could last. The same foundation that touted the success rate also pointed out, " There is still insufficient data about implant failures that occur beyond the first year of load, thus making it difficult to draw conclusions about long-term survival rates of these implants. "Other disadvantages that could arise, especially when you realize no two patients are the same. That is why it is important to talk about it with your dental implant surgeon, the moment it becomes an option.

If you are looking for a dental implant surgeon, in Plano, TX , please contact us at

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1 comentario

Aayushi Jain
Aayushi Jain
04 may 2020

The vacant spaces left by missing teeth can be filled using other methods. Usually, dental bridges are suggested by the dentists as a solution as it is a traditional method. Dental bridges are a union of two dental crowns or denture, which acts a prosthetic which replaces the missing teeth.

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