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Jaw Surgery and Dental Implants in Singapore Blog

S L Chan

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Dental implants vs root canal treatment

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Dentists are taught to save teeth. Cavities in teeth are caused by bacteria eroding away the enamel and dentine. At this stage, the decayed portion of the tooth can be drilled away and the resultant defect filled with an inert material such as amalgam or increasingly, tooth colored composites. If the decay had progressed deeper into the pulp of the tooth, root canal treatment, aka endodontic treatment,  whereby the pulpal tissue is removed from the root canals of the tooth and then sealing the empty canals with a filling, can often save the tooth from extraction. However, if the decay has progressed even further as to leave minimal sound tooth structure, extraction may be the only choice left. This is where dental implant come in as a replacement for the missing tooth. Where do we draw the line as to when it is better to remove and replace than to salvage the tooth?

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Dental Implant Complications in Singapore

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As dental implants becomes increasingly popular as teeth replacement, more and more people are having dental implants in their jaws. Today, it is has become a mainstream treatment in many clinics. Along with it widespread adoption, the incidence of complications arising from dental implants is also rising. Countries that have an earlier adoption of dental implants on a widespread scale are beginning to see many complications surfacing. This trend is also beginning to appear in Singapore.

 

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A little bit of orthognathic surgery but not too much

 

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It is quite common in my practice to have patients coming in to ask for jaw surgery to correct what they feel are minor deformities. They often say that they are not seeking major changes and only want a bit of surgery but not too much. Every often, such requests are harder to fulfill than requests for extreme makeovers. Jaw surgery can achieve dramatic changes in facial appearance especially in cases of gross discrepancies of facial bone proportions and symmetry. However, for the patient who says she does not want major changes, is orthognathic surgery suitable?

 

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Medical tourism for corrective jaw surgery in Singapore

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Singapore has a long history as a medical tourism destination. The high standard of healthcare, comparable to the best of America and Europe, has attracted many patients from Asia. Some of the most commonly sort after procedures by medical tourists are cardiology and oncology. Corrective jaw surgery http://www.aestheticjawsurgery.com/orthognathic-surgery-singapore-corrective-jaw-surgery is slowly increasing in demand as well. What is the process of a medical tourist seeking corrective jaw surgery in Singapore?

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Corrective jaw surgery for the middle-age patient

 

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Most patients for corrective jaw surgery are teenagers or young adults. It is often at this age that the patient is aware of the problem and seeks treatment. The motivation for seeking surgery is usually a combination of functional problems and aesthetics. However, increasingly, I am seeing more middle-aged patients. Are these “older” patients suitable for such surgery?

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Do I need to remove the fixation plates after corrective jaw surgery?

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Corrective jaw surgeryis a procedure whereby the jaw bone is cut, detached, moved to a different position and held there with some sort of fixation device. In the past, the fixation device comprised mainly stainless steel wires to tie the jaws in the new position. Today, this is achieved by using plates and screws placed internally to provide a rigid fixation. Some patients are concern about the possibility of setting off metal detectors at the airport while others wonder whether having the metal plates and screws in their body affects their health in the long run. Can these fixation plates and screws be removed? Should they be removed?

 

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Who calls the shots in orthognathic surgery- orthodontist or surgeon?

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Many conditions require multi-disciplinary management. For example, ischemic heart disease may require the expertise of the cardiologist and the cardiothoracic surgeon. In the same, way, dentofacial deformities require the expertise of the orthodontist and the maxillofacial surgeon. The best outcome is achieved when surgical and non-surgical options are considered, balancing the treatment objectives and the risks involved. However, very often, the treatment plan depends on who is primarily in charge of the treatment planning.

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What qualification to look for in a dentist for dental implants?

bigstock-Professional-Medical-Doctor-Te-72465052.jpgThere are about 2000 dentists in Singapore and the majority does not provide dental implant services. This is because of the relative novelty of implant dentistry, becoming mainstream only in the last twenty years or so, and that most dental schools do not teach it as part of its core curriculum in the undergraduate program. How can a patient identify which dentist to choose for dental implants?

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Bringing down the cost of dental implants

bigstock-Coins-in-glass-money-jar-with--86673011-1.jpgA few days ago, I attended a seminar conducted by the Economics Society of Singapore on the “Contentious issues in Healthcare”. Naturally, rising healthcare cost is a hot topic. Economists look at big picture numbers such as GDP often treat the delivery of healthcare as a single entity, encompassing public and private healthcare. Journalists often highlight the high fees charged by private clinics to exaggerate the rising cost. To be sure, cost is rising but it is cost more by factors other than doctors’ professional fees. So where is the money going to? Let’s use implant dentistry as a model.

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Wisdom tooth surgery – a walk in the park or a trek up Everest?

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Today, I removed the four wisdom teeth of the son of my first ever wisdom tooth patient. His father was my first ever wisdom tooth surgery patient thirty years ago. I was in final year dental school then and removal of that one tooth took two hours. It was a most traumatic experience, not just for the patient, but for me as well. He was bleeding and I was sweating. It was an arduous climb up Mount Everest. Post-operatively, the swelling was tremendous and the corner of the mouth was thoroughly bruised and abraded with all the tugging and pulling. Thirty years later, he sent his son to me for wisdom teeth removal.

 

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