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Jaw Surgery and Dental Implants in Singapore Blog

Cost of Dental Care in Singapore

Malaymail.com article on Singapore dental careI was preparing a treatment plan for a patient last night when a Whatsapp message from a colleague came in. He forwarded me a post for Malaymail.com entitled “Why Johor Dentists can expect even more Singapore patients than over before”. And another on Channel News Asia Facebook with a headline saying that “9 out of 10 Singaporeans are concerned about cost of dental care”. This is indeed a reversal of the trend 30 years ago when Europeans came to Singapore as dental tourists; they get their dental work done and have a holiday at the same time and pay a fraction of what they would have to pay if they had done the same work in their home country. Thirty years on, as a developed society, has Singapore Dentistry become like that of Europe?

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Loss of tongue sensation after wisdom tooth surgery

Straits Times article chef v dentistRecently, an article in The Straits Times featured a case of a chef suing a dentist for causing him to lose sensation of his tongue after a wisdom tooth surgery. Certainly, for a chef, such a complication can be a career-ending event. So, how does a wisdom tooth surgery lead to numbness of the tongue and what can be done about it.

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Dental implants in an underbite patient

underbite_2Rising affluence and awareness among patients in Singapore have led to an increase in demand for specialist procedures such as orthognathic surgery. Underbite deformity, where the lower jaw is disproportionately longer than the upper jaw is possibly the most corrected dentofacial deformity in Singapore today. However, not so a generation ago. Baby boomers, or in the Singapore context, the Merdeka Generation, often did not have the benefit of such services when they were young and many have uncorrected underbite. With advancing age and a lack of proper care in their younger days, total or partial loss of dentition is common. Many seek to replace their missing or decayed teeth with dental implants. In replacing teeth in a patient with an underbite, do we set the teeth in the original cross bite position or do we aim to reconstruct the dentition into an ideal Class I bite?

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Missing Teeth and Jaw Deformity in the older patient

Most dental implants patients are usually older adults who have lost some or all dentition over the course of many years. On the other hand, corrective jaw surgery patients tend to be younger, those in their late teens and twenties. However, there is a group of patients who have dentofacial deformities that require orthognathic surgery but somehow did not get around to doing it when they were younger but in their later years, require dental implants to replace their missing or failing dentition. For such patients, orthognathic surgery may be done in conjunction with dental implants to restore not just a functional dentition but an improvement of facial aesthetics as well.

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Wisdom tooth surgery ; General Dentist or Specialist?

bigstock-Thinking-Business-Woman-96294494Continuing the story of debate on “Better Competency Development for Safe and Quality Dental Care”, this blog discusses the other oft-cited “higher risk” procedure, wisdom tooth surgery. So how complicated is wisdom tooth surgery? What kind of training do dentists need to perform this surgery properly.

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Implant Dentistry; General Dentist or Specialist?

bigstock-Woman-Dentist-Giving-Her-Patie-69458989-2There has been much debate in recent weeks within the dental profession about the competency of dentists to do certain procedures. The issue has attracted a lively debate amongst various dental organizations. The Ministry of Health and the Singapore Dental Council has begun seeking feedback on “Better competency development for safe and quality dental care for patients”. Two of the oft-cited procedures that were considered to be of higher risk and may need additional training and certification are implant dentistry and wisdom tooth surgery. While this debate is on-going who should patients requiring such service go to? We will address the issue of implant dentistry first.

 

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Functional indications for corrective jaw surgery

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Corrective jaw surgery is often perceived as cosmetic surgery. Indeed, the cosmetic enhancement is probably the most obvious outcome of the surgery. However, it is primarily a functional correction of a discrepancy in the bite disharmony caused by disproportionate growth of the jaws.

 

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Corrective jaw surgery- orthodontics or jaw surgery?

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Most medical problems have at least two possible solutions; surgical and non-surgical. Given that most people do not like to be cut, non-surgical options are by far the preferred option for most patients. For example, if you have some clogged-up arteries in your heart, do you go to a cardiologist or a heart surgeon. From what I understand from my heart surgeon friends, the first stop tend to be cardiologists these days. This is understandable as cutting open your chest to do a by-pass graft scares the living daylights out of most people. Compare this to someone inserting a wire from you thigh up to the heart to unblock the artery. Jaw deformities like an underbite or overbite, within certain limits, can be moderated with non-surgical treatment like orthodontics. But the key is knowing the limitations.

 

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Cheapest dental implant in Singapore

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Cost is probably one of the biggest factor when a patient considers having dental implants. Indeed implant dentistry is arguably the most expensive dental procedure. However, it is also fast becoming the treatment option of choice amongst most patients who lose their teeth. What was once a “luxury” has become a necessity, at least relatively speaking.This is probably due to our high standard of living in SIngapore and hence rising expectations of the people. Along with the increase in demand, dental implant manufacturers and dentists find ways to lower the cost of implant dentistry so that the majority of patients can afford. How cheap is the cheapest implant in Singapore today?

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Camouflaging an underbite with veneers instead of orthognathic surgery

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Skeletal Class III dentofacial deformity, commonly referred to as underbite, is fairly common in Singapore. Those seeking treatment are usually teenagers or young adults, and are still dependent on their parents for consent as well as finances. While some parents are supportive, others are dead set against the idea of surgery. Those who are against surgery may look for less invasive alternatives to mask the underbite. Such masking can be done by camouflage orthodontics or in some cases, veneers and crowns. Such compromised treatment is not ideal and may lead to other problems.

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