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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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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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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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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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Why is the cost of dental implants in Singapore so high?

bigstock-White-Tooth-And-Yuan-On-Scales-83857337.jpgDental implant treatment is arguably the most expensive treatment in dentistry. Over the years, the feedback that I got from patients included descriptions such as “more expensive than open heart surgery” and “stuffing a BMW into the mouth”. So, let’s get it upfront, it is expensive. However, most times, it is cheaper than heart surgery and the good news is that while heart surgery is often mandatory if you don’t want to die, dental implants are elective. So, as much as I hate to admit it, the car analogy is probably closer. But you don’t have to buy a BMW. You can choose to get a Hyundai or you can even choose to walk. Let’s look at the difference between a “BMW” implant and the “Hyundai” implant. And it’s not the country where they are made.

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Corrective Jaw Surgery in Singapore– public or private hospital?

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Last week, after a rather lengthy consultation, a patient asked me whether it is better for her to do her corrective jaw surgery in a public or private hospital. This is not an uncommon question but every time I hear that, I will pause for a while before answering. The critical issue here is of course what your definition of “better” is. 

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Is orthognathic surgery medically necessary?

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It is not uncommon for insurance companies to question the medical necessity of orthognathic surgery. Certainly, the most noticeable benefit of orthognathic surgery is the cosmetic improvement. However, the objective of the surgery is not always cosmetic enhancement but a functional restoration. Sure, there are some that are more cosmetic than functional. Dentofacial deformities, which orthognathic surgery seeks to correct, constitute a spectrum rather than specific disorders. Can we draw a line separating the functional from the cosmetic?

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Dental implants- the $200,000 mouth and the $6 million man

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 Cost of dental implants in Singapore is the second most important concern of patients seeking dental implants. The first concern is fear. Fear, daunting as it is, can be overcome with education. Cost, however, is a greater barrier as it cannot be easily bridged, especially when the amount runs into six figures. Yes, six figures. Many patients have that incredulous look as I explain the hundred thousand dollar treatment plan. But there is hope.

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The most expensive vs the cheapest dental implant

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Good quality dental implant treatment is expensive. Full mouth dental implant treatmentcost more than most medical or surgical treatment, including operations like coronary artery bypass graft surgery, hip replacement, knee replacement, etc. Currently, there are two diametrically opposed approaches in the continuing development of dental implant treatment protocol. On one hand, more implant manufacturers are competing for business and that has been driving the cost of the implant and components down. On the other hand, advances in diagnostic and treatment delivery systems to achieve better outcomes entailing the use of high technology drive prices even higher. It is increasingly difficult for patients to find the balance between cost and value. This blog post will try to throw some light on the subject.

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What is the cost of genioplasty and a chin implant?

 

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Cost is a major factor in elective surgery. Afterall, if it is too expensive, there is always the cheaper option of not having it at all. However, in real life, elective procedures often cost more than non-elective ones. This may appear counterintuitive but if you think about it, it makes perfect sense. The demands and expectation of a cosmetic surgery patient is much higher and nebulous than a patient who is undergoing emergency coronary bypass surgery. The latter will be grateful if he survives but the former may not be happy even if the surgery is a success in the eyes of the surgeon. The technique of performing chin surgery is relatively simple, but attaining the results desired by the patient is a different matter. But don’t worry, the cost of chin surgery is nowhere near the heart surgery ballpark.

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