Is missing teeth holding you back from making that big smile, or are you self-conscious about wearing dentures? Patients with dentures often encounter problems with comfort, aesthetics, stability, and longevity. These factors can negatively impact your confidence, nutrition, and overall wellness. If either is bothering you, then Dental Implants may just be the perfect solution!
Dental Implants are synthetic screw-like structures made of titanium or other materials well-suited to the human body that function to replace single or multiple missing teeth. They are anchored to the jawbone and act as a foundation to retain and support fixed or removable prostheses such as crowns and bridges.
For many patients, Dental implants are the gold standard and offer the ideal solution for their dental needs. Dental implants have been available for decades and are clinically and scientifically proven to achieve 95% long term success. They closely resemble natural tooth roots and are considered to be the next best alternative to one’s original teeth. It can provide long-term comfort and stability, while resolving issues associated with dentures with regards to aesthetics and function (speech and chewing). As they maintain bone mass, Dental implants can also help prevent additional tooth loss, as well as a sunken face appearance. Therefore, Dental implants can allow you to enjoy your food better, improve your facial profile, and restore your confident smile.
The first step in the Dental Implant process is to develop an individualised treatment plan following an interview and meticulous treatment planning to address your specific needs and preferences, It is only through organised and systematic approach that an appropriate diagnosis can be made. Based on these diagnoses, functional and aesthetic success can be achieved predictably.
Initial investment in Dental Implants will cost more than a conventional bridge but studies have shown this is more economical in the long run than the latter. Furthermore, in the construction of a conventional bridge, the quality of the adjacent tooth will inevitably be compromised which may incur extra costs. As with any other dental restorations, diligent oral hygiene, proper care and regular dental visits will aid in the longevity of your Dental implant.
Why is it important to replace missing teeth? What happens if left unattended?
- Drifting of adjacent teeth and over-eruption of opposing teeth -> tooth decay
- Difficulty with eating and chewing -> indigestion
- Loss of youthful look
- Loss of Lip support
- Difficulty with speech
- Progressive bone loss in areas where teeth used to be -> loss of facial contours which will affect the appearance
Reasons for tooth loss :
- Caries, Gum Disease or Failure of formerly treated tooth
- Accidents in daily activities or contact sports
- Naturally (congenitally) missing tooth or teeth
Options to Replace
- Dentures (Partial or full)
- Fixed Bridges
- Implant supported crowns or bridges. (Medisave claimable)
Success rate of Dental Implants
Dental implants have a success rate of up to 90 to 95%.
Advantages of Implants
- Advanced treatment that almost mimics natural teeth in look, feel, and function.
- No movement during function
After implants are placed, they fuse to the jawbone thus providing very stable support. Dentures, bridges, or individual teeth mounted onto implants will not slip or shift in your mouth. This is especially beneficial to the function of eating and speaking.
- Minimises bone loss
- Avoid compromising on the quality of adjacent healthy teeth.
- Preserve facial contours and appearance.
- Long term success rate of over 90%, as shown in extensive research and clinical studies.
- Scientifically tested and documented for over 30 years.
What is the process of dental implant treatment?
- Pre-treatment evaluation and Treatment Planning E&D
- X-ray ( OPG or CT for more complex cases) and U/L Study models
- Sedation? LA or GA
- Augmentation ? Eg. Bone Graft? Sinus Lift
OPG – Orthopantogram is a “2D” panoramic scanning dental x-ray of upper and lower jaw
CT – Computed Tomography is a more detailed “3D” cross sectioned images of upper and lower jaw
- Implant Placement 2 weeks later
- Duration of surgery is 45 to 60 min per implant, normally under local anaesthesia in the dental office
- 1 stage or 2 stage (additional surgery to expose buried implant), depending on the complexity of surgery and bone.
- Crown Placement 4 to 6 months later
- After a healing period of 4 to 6 months, the jawbone will form a strong bond with the implant, achieving solid foundation.
- Crown impression, then restoration of the definitive crown can proceed.
- Implant protection and maintenance every 6 months.
Suitability for dental implants.
- Medical Health.eg. Diabetes, reduced body resistance
- Dental Health. eg. Periodontal health, Bruxism
- Social Health.eg. Smoking (Note: Success Rate <10 %)
- Availability of Bone, Augmentation required?
How long to wait after extraction before placement of dental implants?
Depends on the difficulties of the extraction, infection, bone quality and quantity.
- 1-3 months
- 4-6 months
How long to wait after implant placement until I get my teeth?
Your implant needs time to heal before loading. Restoration usually begins after 3 months for a simple implant surgery without bone grafting. For complex cases that involve bone grafting or sinus lift, it may take 9 to 12 months before restoration begins.
Is it Painful?
No. An effective local anaesthesia is used during the surgery so that you do not have any discomfort during the placement of the dental implant. The mild discomfort you might experience after surgery can be managed by medications.
For patients who are anxious, an arrangement can be made for general anaesthesia/sedation. This will help the patient sleep comfortably throughout the procedure.
Pre-medication with antibiotics and mouthwash.
Stop Smoking 2 weeks prior to the surgery.
- Oral Hygiene Instructions
- Cold compress or Ice pack to reduce pain and swelling
- Soft diet
- Resume normal activity
- Simple 1-2 implant -> 1 to 2 days
- Complex with augmentation -> 5 to 7 days. ( because of swelling)
2 weeks to 1 month
- Trial Fit
- Cement Retained
- Screw Retained
How soon can I eat and function after my implant gets fitted?
Immediately. It is strongly advised to adopt a soft diet.
How do I care for my implant(s)?
Success of your dental implant(s) will depend on how well you maintain them.
Clean twice a day using a small soft-bristled toothbrush
Floss once daily to remove any plaque
Clean after each meal.
Visit your Dentist every 3 to 4 months for a check-up
X-ray to assess bone health and implant stability.
- Implant loose
- failure to fuse with bone
- Artificial teeth
- Chipped tooth/ porcelain
- Loosening of screws
- Gum inflammation
- Implant Fracture – rare
Patient Cost For Single-tooth replacements
Initial cost for the implant is higher but will be equivalent to that of conventional bridges within a few years. (Dental Practice Report 2004) Note biological costs incurred from cutting or damaging healthy neighbouring teeth!
Patient Information: Dental Implant Surgery
Congratulations! You have successfully undergone Dental Implant Surgery.
1. Continue biting with firm pressure on the gauze for another 1 to 2 hours. Change the gauze when it becomes soaked with blood. There may be a slight oozing of blood even on the following day; Do not worry.
2. Do not rinse your mouth or consume hot food and beverages for 3 to 4 hours after the operation.
3. Following the use of local anesthesia, the lips, tongue, or cheeks may remain numb for 3 to 4 hours. While the numbness is wearing off, they may be damaged by biting which can cause swelling, bleeding, or ulceration. Parents of young patients are advised to remind their children from harming themselves in this way.
4. You may notice slight swelling or bruises on your face where the surgery was performed. You may use a cold compress or an ice pack to reduce the swelling. The swelling should resolve in a few days.
5. If you are a smoker, please refrain from smoking for at least 4 to 5 five days after the operation.
6. Take a good rest after the operation. Do not engage in strenuous physical activities (e.g. aerobics, jogging, and swimming) for at least 4 to 5 days after the operation.
7. You are advised to consume soft food for the next 2-3 days. Rinse your mouth with antiseptic mouthwash or warm salt water after each meal.
8. If bleeding re-commences:
a. Rinse mouth with cold water once, then fold a piece of gauze (or a cotton handkerchief) into a tight pad and place directly over the bleeding point. Apply firm steady pressure on the pad by biting on it for 30 minutes.
b. If bleeding persists, repeat this step twice. If this fails, please return to the clinic for professional assistance.
9. Take the medications as prescribed. If you experience any side effects, stop taking the medications and contact us immediately.
10. Brush your teeth as per normal. Take care not to brush too hard near the wound area. Use prescribed antiseptic mouthwash to gargle after brushing.
11. When washing your face, take care not to wash too hard near the wound area.
12. In the event of an emergency (e.g. non-stop & excessive bleeding, high fever), please call us immediately. If we cannot be reached, please seek emergency treatment at the Accident & Emergency Department at any hospital as soon as possible.
13. Please remember to return to us in about 2 week’s time to get the sutures removed.
After Implant Dental Treatment
A Few Weeks Before:
- Arrange for a driver to take you to the clinic and pick you up on the day of the procedure. You should not travel home on your own
- Sometimes it’s better to have a helping hand. You may want to have someone care for you while you recover
- Collect any prescription medications and ensure that you have cold compresses at home to apply to your face after the surgery.
The Day Before:
- Stock up your refrigerator with soft cool foods, such as yoghurt, cold soup, ice cream, or smoothies. Your doctor may recommend you to adopt a soft food diet for a few days to allow your implants to heal.
- Drink plenty of liquids and avoid smoking, alcohol and coffee for at least 24 hours before surgery at all costs.
You have returned back home after the surgery. Spoil yourself, relax and rest. You are one step closer on your journey to achieving a confident new smile.
When You Arrive Home:
- Cool the external treatment area as soon as possible to ease potential swelling and pain.
- After surgery, sitting is better than lying down. Try to keep your head raised as much as possible. Consider using several pillows while sleeping.
- Follow your doctor’s advice and take your medications as directed to optimize healing.
- Avoid chewing hard or hot foods. Enjoy soft cool foods such as smoothies, cold soups, ice cream and yoghurt. Avoid using straws and be extra careful and gentle.
The First Few Days:
- Avoid hot drinks, hot meals, and saunas. Heat may increase inflammation.
- Avoid chewing solid foods. Stick to a soft diet to allow your implant to heal.
- Stay away from alcohol, nicotine, coffee and black tea.
- Remember to get some rest. Postpone sports of any activities that require physical exertion.
- Do not use a toothbrush until your stitches have been removed. Follow your doctor’s home hygiene recommendations.
- Some patients may experience some swelling or bruising, which usually peaks on the second, or third day after the surgery. This is quite normal and will subside within a few days.
What is this title “Grad Dip Dental Implantology (Singapore)”?
The Graduate Diploma in Dental Implantology, offered by the Centre for Advanced Dental Education (NUS, Singapore) is aimed at providing a sound scientific grounding and clinical training in implant dentistry. This two-year post graduate course is designed mainly for general dental practitioners who are interested in the field of dental implantology. The Graduate Diploma is accredited by the Singapore Dental Council
We have 4 dental surgeons accredited with this post graduate title.
Why Choose Us for Dental Implant?
Why choose your clinic for dental implant? You are not the cheapest.
Yes. We are not the cheapest but you, your health and the success of your dental implant is of utmost importance to us.
We use the best implants, implant parts and grafting materials. Straumann, Nobel Biocare, Osstem and Geistlich are notable brands that have over 20 years of proven scientific research and their innovations have led to reliable and predictable treatment results.