How Long Do Dental Implants Last: Utilising Computer Guided Implant

Dental Designs Clinic Singapore
07 Feb, 2024

What are dental implants?

An implant is a metallic fixture that is inserted into the jaw bone by a dental surgeon, and it serves as a replacement root for an artificial tooth. Dental implants have recently become a popular choice as a tooth replacement option, among patients, owing to their excellent durability, lifelike appearance, and lifelong durability. Millions of implants are placed by dentists throughout the world each year, and these numbers are expected to grow considerably in the future.

Now you might wonder “There are millions of dentists practising implant dentistry in Singapore. Why should I choose Dental Designs Clinic”?

The reason is simple. In addition to the unmatched expertise and skills of our dentists, we use state-of-the-art computer-guided implant surgical techniques. Therefore, the implants placed by our dentists have a higher dental implant success rate, superior functionality, and excellent aesthetics. 


Why are dental implants the best tooth replacement option?Dental-Implants-xray-in-laptop

Perhaps the most critical reason why dental implants are superior to other tooth replacement options is their unique capability to promote bone formation and create intimate contact with the surrounding teeth and jaw bone. This property, known as osseointegration, allows any prosthesis which is attached to the implant for tooth replacement to remain firmly stable and fully functional inside the jaws. As a result of bone graft, the implant-supported artificial teeth not only restore your ability to speak and eat without difficulty but also restore your smile and facial aesthetics.

Since the first use of Titanium-based dental implants as a tooth replacement option in the 1960s, there have been significant improvements to the implant shape, design and surface morphology. Nowadays, cylindrical implants with improved thread designs have significantly enhanced the osseointegration potential and reduced dental implant risk of failure. Moreover, different types of surface modifications and coatings have allowed the dentists to reduce the time requirements for the implants to achieve stability inside the jawbones. However, the most crucial achievement in implant dentistry can be attributed to the introduction of 3D-imaging and computer-guided surgical implant placement.


What is computer guided implant surgery?image (9)

Currently, most of dentists throughout the world are placing implants by using a technique known as the “freehand” surgical technique. This means that they will look at the x-ray images and models of your teeth and bones, and then decide the location and angulation of the implant site. However, during the surgery, the implant is placed based on 'feel' freehand. As can be imagined, this technique is highly dependent on the surgeon's experience. However, even experienced surgeons will encounter complications or poor placement results as every individual's jaw bone is different. So, there are higher chances of implant placement at a non-ideal angle or position in the jaw. The jaw nerve can also be injured. This can lead to an increased risk of implant loosening, infection, nerve damage, and even implant failure1.

We prioritise safety and predictability in our treatments in order to minimize the risk of treatment failure and improve healing outcomes. That is why we perform computer-guided implant surgery which allows us to visualize and plan each step of your dental implant treatment, right from the imaging and diagnosis to implant insertion. This technology helps us in precisely determining the best location and angulation for inserting the implant. At Dental Designs Clinic, we use the following state-of-the-art equipment to maximize the success of teeth we replace with dental implants:


1. 3D X-ray/ Cone Beam Computed Tomography (CBCT)

The CBCT/3D x-ray imaging is used in cases where the conventional x-ray images may not be enough. We use the 3D imaging technology to visualize a 3-dimensional image of your jaw bone shape where the implant needs to be inserted. This technology also helps us in choosing the right size, shape and type of dental implant for replacing your teeth and to minimize dental implant risk for an implant failure or infection. In addition, we also use CBCT to visualize and protect any important dental structures or nerves which may get damaged during implant insertion.

2. Intra-oral Scanners

At Dental Designs Clinic, we understand that using physical impression materials for making impressions during implant preparation is quite uncomfortable and inconvenient for the patient. Also, there are very high chances of error when impression materials are used as they can undergo dimensional changes and human error in processing. Keeping this in view, we use intra-oral scanners to make digital impressions of your teeth. These digital impressions are not only highly accurate, but we also feed these images into special software which syncs it with the 3D CBCT x-rays, which helps us in making a detailed plan for implant insertion and in preparation of the prosthesis which will be used for replacing the natural teeth.

3. 3D Printing Technology

Also, our state-of-the-art 3D printers allow us to utilize the digital impression of your teeth in preparing a highly accurate, precisely fitting dental implant stent to be used during the implant surgery that fully guides the position of the implant during implant surgery. Also, the temporary crown can be made via 3D printing, providing a tooth prosthesis that fits well with your other teeth and bite. This saves time compared to convential methods which need to be sent out to the laboratory and require additional time and visits.


Why is computer-guided implant surgery better than conventional implant insertion?

Now, you might be wondering why guided dental implants are the best. Here are a few reasons:

  • Accuracy – When replacing missing teeth with implants, skill and precision matter a lot. The computer-assisted diagnostic equipment we use at Dental Designs Clinic allows us to determine the best site and angulation for placing the implants. We also use 3D printing to prepare surgical guides which help our dentists during implant surgery to insert the implant to reduce chances of error as much as possible.
  • Durability – The prostheses we prepare for replacing your teeth with the 3D printing technology minimizes errors which are often observed during laboratory fabrication. As a result, these artificial teeth are stronger and more durable than the ones prepared conventionally in the dental laboratory.
  • Minimal Dental Implant Risk – Computer-guided implant insertion also minimizes the risk of failure and complications which are associated with conventional implant insertion protocols. Also, the healing period is considerably less when dental implants are inserted by using digital
  • Aesthetics – Another benefit of digital technology is that it provides lifelike aesthetics. When we attach your artificial teeth to the implant, they will blend in perfectly, and you will not be able to distinguish between them and your natural teeth.
  • Quick Results – With our digital technology, you can your teeth replaced with implants in a matter of hours! So, if you’re looking for a same-day smile makeover with dental implants, then you can certainly benefit from our computer-guided implant insertion protocol at Dental Designs Clinic.

With conventional implant technology, it can take weeks after your initial implant healing is completed to have your teeth replaced. At Dental Designs Clinic, we understand that your smile is your most important asset and therefore, using computer-guided implant placement techniques, as the implant is placed in the most optimal position, we are able to scan and create the tooth crown to place over the implant much more quickly.


Long term advantage of computer guided implant surgerydentist-examining-patient-teeth

When we choose to have an implant in our body, we want it to last a long time. As the teeth are used every day, they are subjected to a lot of daily stresses during chewing, acids from the food we eat, normal wear and tear, and of course, any accidents that may happen unexpectedly, such as a fall or physical trauma. Therefore, it is inevitable that some time through the years, they may require repair or replacement of the exposed portion. 

A dental implant has two main parts, the implant body which is placed during the computer-guided implant surgery, and the tooth replacement portion, the implant crown. Studies2 have shown that implants made of commercially pure titanium achieve success rates exceeding 90% over 10 years of follow up. With computer guided implant surgery, the implants are placed precisely in the jaw bone hence they are shown to achieve better success.


Computer guided implant surgery allows for better maintenance and repair options

Having a guided implant surgery means that you have the option to have a screw retained dental implant crown. Dental implant crowns are very strong, but they are placed to last a long time and like anything else, may need maintenace after a few years or if they are accidentally damaged.
Having the implant crown be secured with a screw means that it is easily removable by a dentist for repairs in future. The downside is that screw retained dental implant crowns can only be placed if the implant is in the optimal position as the crown needs to be a certain thickness. Thus, it cannot be done if the implant is placed with a non ideal angulation or position, which often happens with 'freehand' implant surgery.
On the other hand, a non screw secured implant crown is called a cemented implant crown, and is basically glued down onto the implant. This means that when the implant crown needs to be removed for repairs, the whole crown needs to be drilled off. This is much more chair time as well as cost for the patient as the crown needs to be drilled off and replacement of the whole crown is also necessary. Hence, when choosing your dentist for implant surgery, it's essential to consider the long term consequences.


At Dental Designs Clinic, we use a 3D intra-oral scanner to take accurate molds of your teeth, which have fewer errors3 and are more comfortable than the usual technique, which is with manual dental molding. The 3D teeth model is then merged with the 3D x-ray of your jaw bone and used together to determine the most optimal position within the bone for your implant. This allows us to be able to maximise the success rate of the implant, as well as avoiding crucial anatomical structures such as the lower jaw nerve, mental nerve, sinuses, and the roots of other teeth. The guide is then 3D printed with biocompatible resin. Each computer-guided implant guide is individually customised for each implant that we place.

Read more on dental implants here.



  1. Le Guéhennec L, Soueidan A, Layrolle P, Amouriq Y. Surface treatments of titanium dental implants for rapid osseointegration. Dent Mater. 2007 Jul;23(7):844-54. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2006 Aug 14. PMID: 16904738.
  2. Albrektsson T, Jansson T, Lekholm U. Osseointegrated dental implants. Dent Clin North Am. 1986 Jan;30(1):151-74. PMID: 3514290.
  3. Gaviria L, Salcido JP, Guda T, Ong JL. Current trends in dental implants. J Korean Assoc Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2014 Apr;40(2):50-60. doi: 10.5125/jkaoms.2014.40.2.50. Epub 2014 Apr 28. PMID: 24868501; PMCID: PMC4028797.