Many people experience the issue of missing teeth for a variety of reasons, such as injury, gum disease, or tooth decay. Some people may even have missing teeth because of a hereditary condition.
The problem of missing teeth is not one that should be ignored, as it could cause speech impediments or issues when eating and could thus be a source of great stress in one’s social life. To overcome this, there are a few solutions that could be available to you, including bridges, dentures, or the increasingly popular: dental implants.
This article will hopefully address any dental implant myths that you have heard, so that you will be more familiar with implants if your dentist recommends them.
What are dental implants?
Dental implants are artificial life-like replacements for missing teeth. They are put into place by inserting screw(s) often made of medical-grade titanium into the jawbone via a minor surgery (where anesthesia can be administered). The screw(s) would then hold a ceramic or metallic artificial tooth or teeth in place. The artificial teeth would be specially made to match your mouth and other teeth.
What are the benefits of choosing implants?
They are known to be the most long-lasting of all the options, and could even never need a replacement. Hence, implants would be the most cost-effective after considering its likely long-term use.
Is the procedure painful?
One implant myth is that the procedures will hurt a lot. You should expect to experience some discomfort after the placement of the implant, but with an experienced dental surgeon and sufficient anesthesia used, the pain can be easily tolerable. In addition, anti-inflammatory drugs or painkillers can be prescribed post-surgery to deal with any pain.
Does the procedure have a likelihood of failure?
You should have a thorough discussion and oral examination with your dentist about what kind of treatment is best suited for you, before deciding on getting dental implants. Dental implants generally have a high success rate of about 95-99%, but certain behaviors and conditions could put you in higher risk for implant surgery failure, such as smoking and gum disease
What if my implant fails?
Your surgeon would have to analyze the cause and reason for the failure, and advise you on what to do next as such. He or she could decide to attempt an implant again, or recommend another treatment altogether. Hence, it is essential that you do substantial research on the dental surgeon and clinic that you choose, and ensure that he or she has sufficient experience and training in periodontics and dental implants before deciding to go ahead with the surgery and treatment. Getting dental implants in Singapore means that there are many seasoned and experienced dentists you could choose from to maximise the success rate
Are dental implants very expensive?
They are generally more expensive than other tooth replacement procedures, but also last the longest and hence are more cost-efficient. Fortunately, in Singapore, fees associated with dental implant surgery are claimable from Medisave, but only up to a maximum of S$950 x number of implants inserted (CPF Board, 2020). However, the total cost of dental implants, including surgery and all other services and medications known to be associated is estimated to be around $3,200 to $5,700 in public hospitals, or roughly S$5,655 to S$15,330 in private dental clinics (Tan, 2020).
Can I only replace one tooth at a time?
No, you can replace one tooth or multiple teeth with dental implants.
Will the implants take very long to heal?
Generally, patients can return to work or school within days of the surgery if the swelling has subsided. However, the jaw will take a longer time to fully heal, usually about 6 months, during which foods that are especially crunchy or chewy should be avoided, such as nuts or steak. The duration needed for one’s jaw to heal varies from person to person.