Dental implants in Singapore
Dental implants are a good alternative to replace missing teeth and correct unsightly gaps.
What are dental implants and how they work
Dental implants provides an excellent alternative to replacing missing teeth. The most commonly used material for dental implants today is a titanium alloy fixture that is surgically placed within the jawbones.
There are primarily two phases involved in restoring the missing teeth. The first phase involves surgical placement of the titanium alloy implant fixture into your jawbone. This is achieved by opening a gum flap to access the underlying bone where the fixture is to be implanted. A series of cuts into the bone will be made to accommodate the placement of the fixture into the jawbone. The gums are then closed back by placing a few stitches to facilitate wound healing. During wound closure your dentist will decide whether the implant fixtures will be buried or to place a healing cap that emerges from the gum tissues. The stitches will be removed within one to two weeks after.
The second phase follows an adequate duration of healing (generally 3-4 months) when the dental implant is ready to be restored with a dental prosthesis (crown, bridge or dentures). A small incision on the gum at the implant site is made to expose the implant fixture and a healing cap that emerges from the gum tissues is connected, if this was not done previously during the surgical placement of the implant fixture. The incision is closed up with stiches, which will be removed within a week.
Following two to three weeks of healing of the gums, an impression of the implant is taken for the fabrication of the dental prosthesis (crown, bridge or dentures). A few visit to the dental clinic maybe necessary for the fabrication of the dental prosthesis. On the final visit, the dental prosthesis is secured onto the implant fixture either by means of cementation or screw retention.
A bone grafting procedure may be necessary where part of the natural bone is missing or deficient. This is usually the case with teeth that were extracted for more than 6 months or when a dental infection is/was present. The amount of the bone graft placed will depend on the size of the bone defect and hence contribute to the cost of the grafting procedure. Bone grafting procedure can be done either at the same time when the implant fixture is placed or done before the placement of the implant fixture (staged). When the bone grafting is staged, a healing period of 6-8 months is needed before the implant fixture can be placed.
When dental implants are indicated for the molar regions, a sinus augmentation may be necessary for proper implant placement. A sinus augmentation will be performed when the distance between the sinus cavity and the remaining bone is too shallow for the placement of a standard length implant. Some cases will require both sinus augmentation and bone grafting procedures to enable for placement of dental implants. Once again the sinus augmentation can be done either at the same time when the implant fixture is placed or done before the placement of the implant fixture (staged). When the bone grafting is staged, a healing period of 6-8 months is needed before the implant fixture can be placed.
Who needs dental implants?
You may need dental implants if you have one or multiple missing teeth. In cases where a chipped or fractured tooth beyond repair requires an extraction, dental implant is a good alternative for teeth replacement.
Before starting on dental implant, a proper evaluation with your dentist and a set of x-rays will be necessary in determining if your condition is suitable for placing dental implants. Your dentist may order an 3D x-ray imaging for accuracy and your safety.
Most commonly the benefits of having dental implants include improving your chewing functions and taste, better appetite and diet and a more youthful facial profile as replacing missing teeth helps to support the tissues surrounding your face.
Conversely the prolonged lack of teeth replacement will lead to mal-alignment of the other teeth. The surrounding teeth may drift and move into the gap space. This may potentially cause issues with oral hygiene maintenance.
Dental implants when well taken care of through good oral hygiene maintenance last a long time. Thinking of getting dental implants in Singapore? If you are a Singaporean or permanent resident, you may utlilise your Medisave for a portion of the dental implant bill.
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