Tamilnadu’s First Zygomatic implant on a visually challenged man affected by Mucormycosis

Chennai, August 2021:SenthilMurugan is a 37 year old , visually challenged teacher from the district of Salem. Last year, he fell prey to COVID-19 and fortunately he recovered from the virus. However, he also became a victim of Black fungus, also known as Mucormycosis, leaving his teeth and jaw bones to cripple, making him unable to eat or speak.

Implantree International Dental Hospital successfully performed Zygomatic Implant surgery ( jaw replacement), thus giving him a new lease of life. Explaining on the case, Prof Dr Johnson Raja James, an internationally renowned Implant expert with a specialization in Rehabilitation, Senior Implantologist, Implantreesays, “Senthil developed severe headaches and pain in the sinus region and after several test runs, at multiple health care centres it was concluded that he was affected by the dreaded Black Fungus. His reluctance for early treatment and high blood sugar level had already caused irreversible damage. By the time his treatment began, most of his bone and tissues were disintegrated. He  had to undergo a partial maxillectomy (removal of teeth and jaw bone) that left him with a massive hole in the upper jaw, causing difficulty in eating and speaking. It was hard to eat because the food was going into the nose instead of stomach, and the absence of a palate made speech almost impossible.

He went to multiple dentists to get his teeth and jaw replaced but was either sent back saying nothing much was possible or was asked to wait for at least six months till there was a concrete treatment plan. A web search on Advanced Implants Specialists brought him to Implantree International Dental Hospitals, Saligramam, Chennai.”

Mucormycetes, the fungi which causes this infection, are present all around us in the environment. Anyone can inhale the fungal spores, but it infects only when a person has compromised immunity. Example: Diabetes or Cancer + COVID-19. The combination of these conditions makes a body even more vulnerable to black fungus. Unless treated quickly and efficiently, the black fungus can cause fatal damage to the face, loss of vision, and even death. It has a mortality rate of over 50%.

“With most of the jaw bone removed or disintegrated in Black fungus patients, the only remaining bone is the zygomatic bone or the cheekbone. Zygomatic implants are long implants that are drilled and placed in the cheekbone. They are probably the only treatment option available now for mucormycosis/cancer patients who have lost their teeth due to loss of jaw bone. The implants were placed on the patient under local anaesthesia. The incredible part of the surgery was that the dental prosthesis was fixed within seven days. In most implant options, the patients have to wait for 3 to 6 months,” added Dr Johnson.The rare and complex surgery of Zygomatic Implant Rehabilitation was performed by a team of surgeons in Implantree, Chennai, with Dr. Johnson James at the lead, along with Dr. John Nesan, Dr. SreeLekshmiMidhun, Dr.Afreen, &Dr.Aishwarya.