Dental Implants

anatomy of healthy teeth and tooth dental implant in human dentu

Dental Implant Surgery in Singapore

Dental implants have changed the approach to dentistry, becoming one of the most popular dental services that offer a blend of aesthetics and functionality. The implant, acting as a surgical fixture, not only helps to replace broken or missing teeth but also plays a crucial role in maintaining oral health. As such, dental implant surgery provides more than just a cosmetic fix; it can help improve the mouth’s natural function while preventing future dental issues.

What are Dental Implants?

Dental implants are a type of medical technology that can help replace the root structure of a missing tooth. The three main components of a dental implant are the:

  • Implant: A titanium screw that fuses with the jawbone.
  • Abutment: This component connects the implant to the crown.
  • Crown: The visible part is designed to look like your natural teeth.

Together, these components can replicate the look and function of natural teeth, improving your smile and oral function.

Why Consider Dental Implants?

When considering options to help replace missing teeth, tooth implants offer several advantages:

  • Durability and Longevity: Dental implants are built to last with proper care. This long-term solution can help minimise the need for repeated dental procedures.
  • Preservation of Bone Health: One of the benefits of dental implants is their ability to help preserve bone health. When you lose a tooth, the bone in that area can start to deteriorate due to lack of stimulation. Implants can mimic the stimulation, helping to maintain jawbone integrity.
  • No Impact on Adjacent Teeth: Dental implants require minimal support from adjacent teeth. They are stand-alone dental restorations that have minimal impact on the health of adjacent teeth.
  • Improved Comfort and Stability: Tooth implants are anchored in the jawbone, offering a secure base for the artificial teeth. This stability means the implants would not shift or slip in the mouth. As a result, they can help improve comfort and confidence while speaking, eating, and smiling.
  • Natural Look and Feel: With improvements in dental technology, dental implants can mimic the look and feel of natural teeth. They are designed to match the colour, shape, and size of your natural teeth, blending seamlessly with your smile.
  • Ease of Oral Hygiene: Maintaining dental implants is as straightforward as caring for your natural teeth. Regular brushing, flossing, and dental check-ups are recommended to keep your implants in good condition and preserve their longevity and appearance.
  • Maintains Facial Shape and Smile: Tooth loss may lead to the sagging of facial muscles, altering your appearance over time. Dental implants can help to provide the necessary support to maintain the natural shape of your face and smile.

Types of Dental Implants

There are various types of dental implants that cater to unique dental conditions and needs. After examining your teeth and gums, the dentist will recommend the most suitable option. At the dental clinic in Jurong, we offer four types of dental implants: 

1. Single Unit Implant

The single unit implant is recommended to help replace a missing tooth. This dental implant option is helpful, as it is a straightforward procedure, causing minimal disruption to your daily activities. The tooth implant, which is designed to blend naturally with the jawbone, can also provide a stable and durable foundation for a crown that replaces the missing tooth.

2. Full Mouth Rehabilitation

Full mouth rehabilitation is a procedure aimed at improving the dental health of those who have lost most or all of their teeth, or whose teeth and gums are severely compromised. This process involves meticulous designing of the implant after taking detailed impressions of the mouth. The procedure may also help ensure a natural and comfortable outcome.

3. Implant-supported Dentures (Bar or Attachment)

For patients who have lost all their teeth but still have sufficient jawbone to support implants, implant-supported dentures may be recommended. They have special attachments that can snap into place on dental implants. There are two types of implant-supported dentures:

  • Bar-retained dentures: A thin metal bar (that follows the curvature of the jawbone) houses the denture along with special clips or attachments. These clips or attachments securely snap into place, anchored by the dental implants.
  • Ball-retained dentures: Each dental implant is fitted with a metal “ball and socket” mechanism that fits into a corresponding attachment on the denture, making it easy to snap the denture into place.

For both types, it is essential to maintain regular cleaning of the dentures. They should not be worn while sleeping to maintain optimal oral hygiene.

4. All-on-4 Treatment

First performed by Dr Paulo Malo in 1998, the All-on-4® treatment concept utilises tilted dental implants for full-arch treatment. It is a minimally invasive procedure offering a fixed full-arch restoration to help ensure patient satisfaction. Using Nobel Biocare implants, this concept is known for its scientifically documented success and reliability.

How Does a Dental Implant Work?

A dental implant is a titanium post that integrates with the jawbone, serving as a new root for the missing tooth. This integration forms a sturdy foundation for attaching prosthetic teeth or dentures, allowing them to function like natural teeth. The process involves a surgical procedure where the implant is placed into the jawbone. Over time, the implant fuses with the bone, a process known as osseointegration, providing a stable base for the new tooth.

Preparing for Dental Implant Surgery

Preparing for dental implant surgery typically begins with a consultation with a dental practitioner. During this session, you will receive professional insights into the dental procedure. At the same time, this is an opportunity for you to discuss any concerns and gain clarity on what to expect about the surgery.

Aside from the consultation, a crucial step in your preparation involves sharing your medical history and current medications with the team at your chosen dental clinic in Singapore. This information will help them to design a treatment plan tailored to your unique needs. It also helps to ensure that your dentist is aware of any factors that may affect the surgery or recovery process.

Your lifestyle also plays a role in preparing and recovering from dental implant surgery. Factors such as smoking or alcohol consumption can impact the healing process. During your consultation, discussing these habits with your dentist is important. They may provide specific recommendations or guidelines to help optimise healing in the weeks leading to your surgery.

In terms of pre-operative guidelines, there are several key aspects to consider. Dietary restrictions are often necessary, especially if anaesthesia is involved. You may be required to fast for a specific period before the surgery, with detailed instructions on when to stop eating or drinking. Maintaining optimal oral hygiene before the surgery can also help reduce the risk of infection post-surgery.

Additionally, arranging post-surgery transportation is crucial, as the effects of anaesthesia can affect your ability to drive. Having a family member or friend drive you home for your safety is advisable. Similarly, planning for recovery time is vital. Depending on the extent of the procedure and your body’s healing response, you might need to take some time off from work or other activities.

Dental Implant Procedure: Step-by-Step

Improving your oral function and appearance with dental implants involves several steps, each critical to ensuring the success and longevity of the procedure. Here’s a detailed guide to the procedure:

Initial Consultation and Planning

Your journey will start with a dental examination, whereby the dentist will examine your mouth, teeth, and gums to evaluate the suitability for dental implants. They will also look for signs of gum disease, tooth decay, and assess the overall health of your oral cavity. Additionally, they may employ diagnostic imaging techniques such as X-rays, CT scans, or 3D imaging to get a detailed view of your jawbone, underlying structures, and the positioning of adjacent teeth.

Implant Strategy Development & Educating Patient

Based on the assessment and imaging results, your dentist will develop a tailored implant strategy. They will walk you through the proposed treatment plan, explaining the steps, benefits, risks, and what you can expect during and after the procedure. This stage is also about educating the patient on the importance of oral hygiene and care for the longevity of the dental implants.

Preliminary Procedures

In some cases, preliminary procedures such as bone grafting or a sinus lift may be required to prepare your jawbone for the implants. Bone grafting involves adding bone (or bone-like material) to your jaw to strengthen it, while a sinus lift is performed to add bone below the sinus if the bone height in the upper jaw is insufficient.

Dental Implant Surgery

On the day of the surgery, local anaesthesia is administered to numb the area where the implant will be placed. If needed, sedation anaesthesia can also be provided to help you relax or sleep through the procedure.

Once the area is numb, the dentist will make a small incision in the gum to expose the jawbone. A special drill is then used to create a space in the bone for the implant. The implant, made of biocompatible materials like titanium, is carefully inserted into the jawbone, acting as a new root for the missing tooth.

Osseointegration Period

After the implant is placed, a phase known as osseointegration begins. During this period, the implant integrates with the jawbone, creating a sturdy foundation for the new tooth. This process may take several months, but it is essential for the stability and longevity of the implant.

Sometimes, a temporary tooth replacement can be placed over the implant site for aesthetic purposes while osseointegration occurs.

Abutment and Crown Placement

Once the implant has bonded with the jawbone, the next step is to create the prosthesis – the visible part of the tooth. This involves taking impressions of your mouth to design a crown that matches your natural teeth in colour, shape, and size.

The abutment, a small connector piece, is then attached to the implant. This component serves as a base for the new crown.

Finally, the custom-made crown is attached to the abutment. This completes the restoration, giving you a fully functional and aesthetically pleasing tooth.

After the procedure, you will receive detailed care instructions to help ensure a smooth recovery and optimal results. The dental clinic will also schedule regular follow-up appointments to monitor the implant and address your concerns.

Recovery and Aftercare

After the dental implant surgery, it is advisable to adhere to specific aftercare instructions to help ensure a smooth recovery and longevity of the tooth implant. Here are some ways to help care for the implant and avoid any complications:

Post-Surgical Care

  • Rest and Recovery: In the first 24 hours following your tooth implant surgery, rest is vital. Avoid strenuous activities as they may increase bleeding and swelling.
  • Managing Swelling: Applying a cold compress intermittently on the cheek near the surgical site can help reduce swelling.
  • Pain Management: It is common to experience some discomfort after dental implant surgery. Your dentist may prescribe pain relievers or recommend over-the-counter options. If pain persists or intensifies, it is advisable to contact your dental clinic.
  • Dietary Considerations: Stick to soft foods and avoid hot beverages immediately after the procedure. Foods like soups, yoghurts, and smoothies are recommended. Gradually reintroduce solid foods as healing progresses.
  • Gentle Cleaning: Maintaining oral hygiene is crucial. Brush gently around the surgical site with a soft-bristled toothbrush to avoid irritation to the implant area.
  • Rinsing: Use a saltwater rinse or an antimicrobial mouthwash as prescribed by the dentist to keep the area clean and aid in healing.
  • Infection Prevention: Watch for signs of infection, such as increased swelling, redness, or pus. Contact your dentist if any of these symptoms occur.
  • Protecting the Implant: Avoid chewing hard foods with the tooth implant during the initial healing period. This precaution helps in preventing any damage to the new implant.

Follow-up Visits

Regular check-ups are essential in the journey of dental implant surgery. These visits allow your dentist to help ensure that your implant is integrating well and that there are no signs of infection or other complications. At the same time, these assessments play a role in the long-term success of your tooth implant.

Long-term Care

Ongoing care is key to maintaining the health and functionality of your dental implants. This includes regular professional cleanings, check-ups, and diligent at-home oral hygiene practices. It is important to treat your tooth implant just as you would your natural teeth, with regular brushing and flossing. Incorporating these aftercare practices will ensure a comfortable recovery and contribute to the success and longevity of your dental implants.

Cost of Dental Implants

When considering a tooth implant in Singapore, it is important to understand the various factors that may contribute to the cost of dental implant surgery. The expense may vary based on the following factors as each patient’s experience is as personal as their dental needs.

  • Type of Implant and Procedure: The cost can vary depending on the type of dental implant you require. For instance, a single tooth implant surgery may be less expensive than full mouth rehabilitation or the All-on-4 treatment.
  • Complexity of the Case: Each patient’s dental needs are unique. The complexity of your case, including the number of teeth needing replacement and the condition of your jawbone, can affect the cost. In cases where additional procedures like bone grafting are required, the cost may increase.
  • Quality of Materials: High-quality materials like titanium for implants and ceramic or porcelain for crowns—known for their durability and compatibility with the human body—are often preferred. The choice of these materials can influence the cost.
  • Dentist’s Experience: The expertise and qualifications of the dentist performing the dental implant surgery may impact the cost.
  • Location and Facilities: The location and facilities of the dental clinic play a role in the cost. Clinics equipped with various technologies and situated in prime areas might have higher rates due to their operational costs.
  • Additional Treatments: Sometimes, additional treatments, such as treatment for gum disease or tooth extractions, are needed before the implant procedure. These treatments may add to the overall cost.

For a more detailed breakdown and understanding of the costs associated with dental implant surgery, please visit the dedicated page on the cost of dental implants. Here, you will find helpful information to help you plan your dental journey.

Frequently Asked Questions on Dental Implant Surgery in Singapore

Many patients express concerns about pain during dental implant surgery. However, the procedure is performed under local anaesthesia, which helps to reduce discomfort. Most patients report minimal pain, akin to a routine dental procedure. The medical techniques used in dental implant surgery also contribute to a more comfortable experience.
Dental implant surgery boasts a high success rate, especially when conducted by dental professionals in Singapore. However, this depends on individual oral health and adherence to post-surgery care. With proper planning and execution, dental implants can provide a reliable, long-term solution for tooth replacement.
One of the advantages of dental implants is their longevity. Implants can last a lifetime with proper oral hygiene and regular dental check-ups. The durability of dental implants makes them a preferred choice for tooth replacement in Singapore, ensuring patients enjoy a long-lasting solution for their dental needs.
Dental implant rejection is rare. Made from biocompatible materials, like titanium, the body generally accepts implants well. Instances of implant failure may often be due to factors such as poor oral hygiene or insufficient jawbone density rather than the body rejecting the implant itself.
Post-dental implant surgery, patients are advised to adhere to a soft diet initially to allow for healing. The dentist may lift most dietary restrictions once the implant fully integrates with the jawbone. Maintaining good oral hygiene and regular dental check-ups is also important to ensure the implant’s longevity.

Learn About Dental Implants in Singapore

Considering a tooth implant in Singapore? You may seek advice from our dental clinic in Jurong to learn more about the procedure.

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