Dental Implant in Singapore
Dental implant or tooth/teeth implants are titanium fixtures that are placed into the jawbone to support artificial crowns. The periodontist may suggest placing a bone graft or soft tissue graft around the implant to fabricate a natural-looking smile.
Who Needs Dental Implants?
If you have missing teeth and are embarrassed by the need to wear a removable denture, then a dental implant is for you. Dental implant surgery is an option to replace missing teeth. Dental implants can be placed in a way that it appears or mimics your natural teeth, replacing the missing tooth and creating a harmonious aesthetic with the adjacent teeth.
Dental implants are an excellent alternative for people who:
- Do not want to wear removable dentures like their parents did.
- Want something that feels natural. One advantage is that the dental implant recreates the shape and contour of a natural tooth. There is also no need to remove the implant at night to clean. You will be able to clean it like your own teeth. It also has the strength to withstand normal biting forces and is not as weak as a plastic removable denture.
- Want something that looks natural. If done correctly with a good surgical technique and with a good implants dental system, the anterior implant should look like a natural tooth and emerge from the gums like a natural tooth. It should look virtually indistinguishable from the other teeth.
- Do not want to sacrifice tooth structure on the teeth adjacent to the gap. The other fixed replacement option for missing teeth is a fixed bridge. But this requires that the adjacent teeth be ground down to hold the missing tooth. In comparison, dental implants exist as a unit on their own.
Is the dental implant treatment procedure painful?
Many patients have dental phobia, a leftover scar from mismanagement during childhood. Dental implants are also given a bad reputation when their friends scare them with tales of a bad dental implant experience. However, there are many ways of reducing a patient’s fear of the dentist. Many times, they may need to visit the dentist for a pre-implant consult to discuss their worries and fears. Patients who are very fearful may also opt for dental implants to be placed under general anesthesia or light sedation.
After local anaesthesia is given, the dental implant procedure is painless or almost pain-free. This applies both during the procedure and post-procedure. Most patients only complain of discomfort for the first 24 hours. You will also be given painkillers to keep you comfortable at night.
Can everyone have dental implants done?
No, not everyone is a good candidate. Dental implants should be placed in healthy individuals with no gum disease and a minimum standard of oral hygiene. The success rate for implants placed in a person with poor immunity and poor dental health is significantly lowered and will fail in the long run.
Although implants cannot decay, bacteria from adjacent unhealthy teeth can still contaminate implants and cause them to become infected causing the implant can loosen and fall out. So it is really important to get your overall health and mouth back to a healthy state before dental implants become a treatment option. A CT scan may also be used to ensure you are a good candidate for dental implants.
If you have no teeth and wear dentures, you can still do implants if you have enough bone in the jaws. A fixed implant bridge supported by multiple implants can be used to replace all the missing teeth. If there is inadequate jaw bone though, we can still use implants to retain loose dentures, especially for elderly patients. Sometimes one or two implants are placed just to improve retention and stability of the denture.
I’m a smoker, can I still have dental implants done?
Yes, you still can have dental implants, but the success rate for dental implants drop substantially for smokers.
Smokers, in general, have poor immunity, so they do not heal well after dental implant surgery. They also have a higher incidence of bone loss around their teeth and implants due to the toxins in cigarette smoke. In general, smoking is really bad for your gum health.
The good news is, studies show that once you stop smoking, your body can clear the toxins and your immunity can go back to its normal homeostatic state. Dental implants become a successful long term treatment option again!
What kind of dental implant is best for me?
This should be discussed with your dental provider as there are so many different brands on the market. It’s like choosing a car. Personally, I strongly feel that the dental implant system chosen needs to be rigorously tested both in the lab and clinically. It also needs to have a very good reputation and safety record.
The system chosen should also continue to innovate and upgrade and not be complacent that they are the best. An implant system that has not been tested rigorously and scientifically may fail or give you problems in the long run.
How should I care for my dental implants after surgery?
I cannot stress enough the importance of taking care of yourself well after the dental implant treatment. It is absolutely vital to ensure the success of the implant treatment!
In a general sense, you’ll have to understand that the recovery and integration process with your bones for the implants will take months to fully heal and ensure that the implant placement does not move. Keeping a good standard of hygiene in the mouth and also at the implant area will go a long way in preventing infections and other complications. This will ensure a good lifespan your dental implant treatment in the long run as well.
Keeping your dental implant clean is very much alike keeping your natural teeth clean! You should brush and floss daily, and use mouthwash (non-alcoholic). One difference is that because the dental implant is artificial, more attention might be required to care for them well. Food and bacteria often get stuck around the implant — this leads to a buildup of plaque and if not addressed well, might lead to an infection with the dental implant.
Here’s a guide on how to care for your new dental implants from day 1.
First 48 hours:
In the first hour, keep a gentle, one thing to keep note of is to upkeep the firm pressure on the gauze using your teeth. You’ll want the gauze to stay in place. Don’t change it out within the first hour unless you’re experiencing heavy and persistent bleeding.
For the first day, you’ll probably experience some symptoms like pain & discomfort, swelling, oozing and some bleeding. There’s no need to panic as these symptoms are also indicators that your body is working to repair and heal itself. To help it recover better, make sure to avoid touching or applying unnecessary pressure on the site of the surgery.
You can brush your teeth and gums on the very night you have your implants treatment! Just make sure to use a soft brush and be very careful around the implant area.
Rinsing with warm salt water is great for killing bacteria and keeping the area clean. You should start doing this after the first 24 hours, 3 times a day.
Some discoloration and bruising might occur near the surgery site, that’s normal. After the first 2-3 days, you can use a gentle heat pack/towel to help decrease the bruising and to encourage blood circulation in the area to promote healing.
Rest. It is a time for your body to repair itself. Needless to say, physical exertion or intense activity is not recommended during this period of time.
First 2 Weeks
During this time, the main focus should be to keep dental hygiene at your best standards! This allows the surgery to heal as best it can. Keep up brushing, flossing and salt water rinses daily.
Keep to your scheduled dental appointments! This cannot be emphasized enough. There will be a series of appointments scheduled with your dentist after your surgery. The purpose of these appointments are to ensure the health of the surrounding areas and implant placement are proceeding as expected. Cleaning and inspection is done during this time to ensure continued good health of the surgery site.
After which, you should be visiting your dentist check on your dental implants regularly as you would normally – every 6 months.
Dr Teo’s consultation hours:
Monday: 9:00am – 5:00pm
Wednesday: 9:00am – 5:00pm
Thursday: 9:00am – 12:00pm
Friday: 9:00am – 5:00pm
An Dental Pte Ltd
360 Orchard Road
Tel: 8588 9868 or 6513 9549
Monday to Fridays: 9:00am – 5:00pm
Saturdays: 9:00am – 1:00pm
Sundays & Public holidays: Closed