Missing Teeth And Dental Implants
Ask Dr Gerald Tan about:
- Leaving missing teeth untreated
- The risks involved in getting dental implants
- Recovering from dental implant surgery
- Maintaining dental implants
- Costs of dental implants
Dr. Gerald Tan graduated from the NUS Faculty of Dentistry in 2003 with a Bachelors Degree in Dental Surgery. He also holds 2 postgraduate qualifications, one from the Royal Australasian College of Dental Surgery, and the other from the Royal College of Surgeons of England. He has participated in more than 100 aesthetic and dental implant related courses, seminars and workshops to bring the world's latest techniques, technology and knowledge back to his practice in Singapore. He founded Elite Dental Group in 2013, and focuses on aesthetic and implant dentistry. Together with his multidisciplinary team of dental surgeons and specialists, he aims to provide comfort, convenience and and exceptional patient experience.
You can usually claim up to $1250 in Medisave for one dental implant, subject to a maximum of $7500 for 8 implants. No dentist can guarantee the success of any Medisave claim. We can only submit the request, but the final claimable amount is still subject to approval by MOH. The dentist has no control and no say over the final amount that will be reimbursed, and each claim submission will be assesed by MOH officials. From time to time, MOH may at their discretion change the Medisave claim rules and regulations and this is also beyond the control of any dentist.
Whether or not dental implants would be “ better” than dentures for your 70 year old relative depends on various factors. It is true that no one likes to go for surgery, no matter at what age, and for dental implants to be even considered for your father, it must be determined that the benefits of the surgery far outweigh any risks. Generally speaking, dental implants are far superior to dentures in terms of strength, longevity, stability, comfort and even aesthetics. Age alone cannot be seen as the most important limiting factor in getting dental implants.
Since dental implants are screwed into the jaw, will I feel any difference between the implant and my own teeth? I’m worried I won’t be able to eat normally.
Dental implants, when done well, are designed to look and feel and function just like the natural teeth they are replacing. Dental implants will never decay, however, gum disease around the dental implant may still occur with neglect, just like in the case of natural teeth. There is absolutely no issue with eating normally with dental implants! Having said that, I have seen cases gone wrong whereby dental implants were not placed in a good position and alignment. This may give rise to long term problems in terms of the stability and balance of your bite.
It might feel abit strange at first, but you will soon get used to it just like how a new pair of shoes may feel strange in the beginning.
Brush and floss your dental implants regularly as you would any natural tooth and have them maintained at professional dental hygiene appointments with your trusted dentist at least 2 times per year. Avoid using your dental implants to open up beer bottles, crush on ice cubes, or pork bones and chilli crab shells!
It really depends on the complexity of the surgery and difficulty of the case. In simple cases recovery could be within 1-3 days. In more complex, extensive surgeries, it could take 1-3 weeks !
If you do not replace your missing tooth with a dental implant, it is possible that your neighbouring teeth will shift and collapse into the gap. This will in-turn lead to an imbalanced bite with some teeth subjected to more stress from your bite as compared to others, resulting in unequal wear and tear! You will naturally chew more on the side with more teeth and the rate of wear and tear on the side that you favour will be significantly increased.
The short answer is that it depends. Every patient is different and each case is decided upon on its unique merits and clinical situation. Sometimes you can have an immediate implant placed right after the tooth is extracted. Other times , it is best to wait 3-6 months for the site to heal and regenerate before the implant is placed.
To list every single risk and complication of dental implant surgery is beyond the scope of this session.