Dental versus zygomatic implants in the treatment of maxillectomy: a finite element analysis

J Oral Implantol. 2024 Mar 29. doi: 10.1563/aaid-joi-D-24-00008R2. Online ahead of print.


Purpose: This study analyzed the stress distributions on zygomatic and dental implants placed in the zygomatic bone, supporting bones, and superstructures under occlusal loads after maxillary reconstruction with obturator prostheses.

Materials and methods: 12 scenarios of three-dimensional finite element models were constructed based on computed tomography scans of a patient who had hemimaxillectomy. Two obturator prostheses were analyzed for each model. A total force of 600 N was applied from the palatal to buccal bones at an angle of 45°. The maximum and minimum principal stress values for bone and also the von Misses stress values for dental implants and prostheses were calculated.

Results: When zygomatic implants were applied to the defect area, the maximum principal stresses were similar in intensity to the other models; however, the minimum principal stress values were higher than in scenarios without zygomatic implants. In models that used zygomatic implants in the defect area, von Misses stress levels were significantly higher in zygomatic implants than in dental implants. In scenarios where the prosthesis was supported by tissue in the non-defect area, the maximum and minimum principal stress values on cortical bone were higher than in scenarios where implants were applied to both defect and non-defect areas.

Conclusions: In patients who lack an alveolar crest after maxillectomy, reduced stress on the zygomatic bone is expected if a custom bar-retained prosthesis is placed on the dental implant. The stress was higher on zygomatic implants without alveolar crest support than on dental implants.

Keywords: Finite element analyse; Hemimaxillectomy; PEEK; Zigomatic implants; dental implants.