Purpose: The aim of the present cross-sectional study was to propose a classification system based on a cross-sectional survey of zygomatic implant cases.
Materials and methods: Cone beam computerised tomography (CBCT) postoperative images and clinical intra-surgery photographs of 200 sites corresponding to 100 patients, treated with a total of 198 zygomatic implants in the maxilla according to an anatomy-driven prosthetic approach, were reviewed with regard to anatomy and pathway of the zygomatic implant body. The patients were consecutively selected independently of the type of surgery performed, with the unique requirement of a post-surgical CBCT performed at the moment of selection. Of special interest was the morphology of the lateral sinus wall, residual alveolar crest and the zygomatic buttress. An attempt was made to divide the patients into groups, describing typical anatomies and implant pathways.
Results: Five basic skeletal forms of the zygomatic buttress–alveolar crest complex and subsequent implant pathways could be identified in a sample of 100 patients. Out of them, 62% were female and 38% male, with ages varying between 36 and 83 years (mean age 59.6, SD: 9.67). The five groups were classified as ZAGA 0 to 4 representing 15%, 49%, 20.5%, 9% and 6.5% of the studied sites, respectively. Intra-individual anatomical differences affecting the zygomatic buttress–alveolar crest complex was also found in 58% of the patients.
Conclusions: Five typical anatomical and implant pathway situations could be identified. A classification system comprising five groups named ZAGA 0 to 4 is proposed. Anatomical intra-individual differences were also found in the 58% of the studied population. It is believed that the proposed classification system is useful for categorising zygomatic implant cases for therapy planning and for scientific follow-up purposes.
Keywords: atrophic maxilla, dental implants, extra-sinus pathway, zygomatic implants