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Jaw Surgery and Dental Implants in Singapore Blog

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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All-on-4 vs conventional dental implant treatment in Singapore

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Many years ago, a patient for whom I was planning a full mouth dental implant treatment in Singapore commented that it cost more than his double by-pass surgery which he had just undergone the year before. Another full mouth implant patient put it in a lighter tone, saying it is like stuffing a BMW into his mouth. Yes, dental implant treatment is expensive. As such, dentists and implant manufacturers alike have been trying different approaches to bring down the cost. However, it is a tough balancing act, trying to bring cost down and maintaining high standards. The All-on-four protocol is one such approach and up to this point, it is proving to be rather successful. Can it replace the conventional approach altogether? Probably not. 

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What are the alternatives to sinus bone grafting in Singapore?

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Many patients who need dental implants to replace their missing molars do not have sufficient bone and hence need sinus bone grafting to augment the bone mass to house the implants. Although sinus bone grafting has already evolved to be a commonly done procedure with good results, many patients are understandably concern and would like to avoid it if possible. Some may have a history of sinus disease and entering the sinus for bone grafting may cause a relapse of the disease. In others, there may be ongoing sinusitis which contraindicate the procedure altogether. For these patients, what are the alternatives?

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Complications of sinus bone grafting for dental implants in Singapore

bigstock-Happy-Senior-Couple-Running-To-64204180.jpgI first heard about sinus lift almost thirty years ago when I was student. It was during a conference on dental implants and one of the surgeons present was advocating that all sinus bone grafting operations for dental implants should be done in a hospital operating room. It was a relatively new procedure back then and there were not a lot of long term studies on the potential complications and doing it in the milieu of an operating theatre provided more protection against adverse outcomes. Well, that was thirty years ago. A lot of research have gone into this procedure and much of what works and what does not are well published in the scientific literature. Today, the procedure is routinely done in dental clinics all over the world. However, this does not mean that complications do not happen anymore. As with all surgeries, complications can and will happen.

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What is the cost of zygomatic dental implants in Singapore?


bigstock-Funny-Old-Man-5781083.jpgOnce of the common problems in oral rehabilitation with dental implants is the lack of bone in the jaw to place an implant. This is especially the case for patients who have lost all their upper teeth for a long time and have been using a removable denture for years. The pressure of a removable denture resting on the surface of the bone causes significant bone resorption. Converting to a fixed implant supported prosthesis is often impossible without resorting to reconstructive jaw surgical procedures such as bone grafting, distraction osteogenesis and even orthognathic surgery. The objective of such augmentative procedures is to “normalize” or “idealize” the jaw for placement of dental implants. However, the process is usually long drawn, requiring multiple surgeries spread over several months. The zygomatic dental implant seeks to circumvent these procedures and shorten the treatment duration and minimize the number of steps needed.

 

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Dental implants are becoming more affordable in Singapore

bigstock-Coins-in-glass-money-jar-with--86673011.jpgWe often read about rising healthcare costs and how governments try different ways to tackle the problem. It is a problem that affects all countries, big or small, rich or poor. In Singapore, the recently revamped Medishield scheme together with integrated shield plans, is one way of managing the problem. These insurance policies are designed to cover the major hospitalization expenses. In addition, Medisave has been made accssible for use in outpatient surgical procedures, instead of being limited to inpatient treatment. Dental implant surgery is one the procedures whereby the patient’s Medisave account can be used to pay for the treatment costs.
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Dental Implant Singapore - Complex cases


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The profile of the dental implant patient in my practice has gradually evolved over the years. Twenty years ago, most of the patients who were referred to me are those who are missing one or two teeth and looking for a replacement with fixed teeth. I would place the implants and then refer the patient back to his dentist for restoration with a crown. The increase in demand for dental implants and the wide availability of dental implant courses has resulted in many general dentists learning how to perform the surgical part of implant dentistry in addition to the restoration. Today, most cases can be managed by general dentists, without the need to refer to a specialist. While I still have a lot of “simple” cases, I certainly see more complex cases. When does a case become complex?

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Dental Implants without Bone Grafting


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Following my last blog post on "Why do I need a bone graft for my dental implant", I received some feedback from overseas dental colleagues on graft-less options for dental implants. This is indeed gaining popularity as nobody wants to have more surgery than absolutely necessary. As such, I think a post on such graft-less options may be useful to patients considering dental implant in Singapore. This applies primarily to the upper jaw as this is where grafting is needed most of the time. 

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What is the Cost of Dental Implants in Singapore?

bigstock-Dental-implant-38866831If you have missing teeth or loose, ill-fitting conventional dentures, chances are that your dentist has told you that dental implants are the very best solution for your problem. Fact is, implants offer a range of advantages that no other option can, including protection against bone loss and a dental restoration that looks, feels and functions like strong, healthy natural teeth. Of course, dental implants do cost more – at least initially – than other options.

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How to Find Out if You are a Candidate for Dental Implants in Singapore

4340759130_a68503474a_nIf you've suffered tooth loss and have been looking into implant-based dental restoration to replace missing teeth or ill-fitting dentures, you've probably heard that not everyone is a good candidate for dental implants in Singapore. So how do you find out if dental implants are an option for you? The best way, of course, is to see an oral and maxillofacial surgeon for an evaluation, but here's what you need to know to have a fairly good idea whether or not implants will work for you before you take that step.

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