What Are Dental Implants: 10 Things You Need To Know (2024)

Dental Designs Clinic Singapore
05 Feb, 2024

Did you recently lose a tooth? Or perhaps you have a heavily damaged tooth that needs to removed but you are looking to dental surgeons for an immediate replacement tooth too. Who would want to have gaps in their smiles anyway!

Well, what are dental implants and what are dental implants made of? Do dental implants feel natural? Let's find out all that and more below.

 

What is dental implant treatment?

Dental implant treatments are permanent replacements of your teeth that might have accidentally been knocked out or need to be removed due to cavities. Basically, titanium screws are drilled into your bone to serve as "tooth roots" or to provide a stable base for artificial teeth. This innovative dental technology not only restores your smile but also preserves facial structure and improves oral health by preventing further jaw bone loss. They have certainly become the gold standard for tooth replacement!

 

What do you need to know before getting a dental implant surgery?Dental-Implant-illustration

Making the decision to have a dental implant fixture placed in your mouth is not an easy one. What are the factors and considerations before you opt for implant surgery? We provide the top ten things you need to know before you decide on going ahead with implant surgery.

  1. A dental implant looks and almost feels like having your own tooth back.
    The dental implant-borne restoration looks like your natural tooth as it fuses to your jawbone and becomes part of you. Dental implants are also preferable to dentures as there is better chewing sensation, better biting strength, and no change in taste or sense of smell.

  2. Freedom and confidence to talk, dine, and laugh.
    Having a fixed implant means that you can enjoy the confidence of smiling and laughing with your friends and family without feeling self-conscious about your teeth, as your implant will look similar to your natural teeth.

  3. Preserves your facial structure.
    With dentures, the bone loss in the jaw will result after prolonged use of dentures, causing the jaw bone to recede and eventually collapse.  With implants, the bone integrity1 is maintained due to the bite forces transmitted to the jaw. This sustains the bone structure and maintains the shape and look of your face structure, lips and cheeks.

  4. Having a gap in your teeth causes an imbalance of teeth.
    Without an implant treatment, your teeth will not be well balanced, and this gap in the teeth will cause the teeth to shift and move in an attempt to fill the gap. In the long run, this movement will damage the balance and health of existing teeth as the the shift might cause food to be stuck in the gaps. Furthermore, the opposing tooth might grow or super-erupt toward the gap, causing problems with loosening or biting on the gum.

  5. Guided implants are usually less painful and faster healing than traditional implants.
    Most patients fear implants because they expect it to be a painful process. Computer-guided dental implants2 can help patients avoid most of the pain associated with the implant, as it allows the dentist to place the implant using a keyhole surgery technique that avoids needing a large incision and stitches. Healing is much better as the surgery site is smaller compared to traditional implant surgery which often results in a large wound.

  6. Minimally removes your existing teeth structure.
    Doing an implant means that you will be saving the teeth that might have been reduced if you have pursued other treatment options. If you are doing a fixed bridge restoration, the teeth adjacent to the implant to the left and the right would need to be filed down in order to fit the fixed bridge restoration which is fitted over the gap. Doing an implant preserves the existing tooth structure as much as possible and this is the preferred option at our clinic as we are committed to saving your tooth structure as much as possible.

  7. Having an implant early helps reduce problems down the road.
    The analogy is similar to an 18 wheeler truck going down the highway. There will not be any noticeable problems if a couple of wheels are taken away in the short term. Fast forward to a year and there will be abnormal wear and damage to the structure of the teeth that have moved either forward or sideways. After some time, the real issues in balance and bite dynamics would surface in your mouth.

  8. A guided implant has a higher success rate than a regular dental implant.
    Traditionally, a dentist or periodontist typically places an implant with a free hand, according to their visualisation and by making an incision in the gum tissue to reveal the bone underneath. They do this in order to be able to see what and where they are screwing the implant into. This incision made using traditional implant methods is larger than the keyhole guided implant surgery, making recovery time longer.

  9. Inform your dentist if you have pre-existing medical conditions.
    It is important to tell your dentist if you have conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis as these will affect the success rate of dental implant surgery. Any allergies, medications, including traditional Chinese medicine, or medical conditions must be raised to the dentist before treatment commences. The gums and teeth will also need to be healthy and having regular scaling and polishing done to maintain their healthy condition.

  10. Find out what brand your dental implant is.
    There are hundreds of different dental implant brands on the market, and most patients do not even know what kind of implant they are choosing to put into their body. The brand is important to ensure that its a good quality implant3.  Dental implants are meant to last you for many years, and they will require maintenance over the years as the crown or implant parts wear out. If your implant is of an unknown brand or if it does not have parts to allow repair, the whole implant may need to be removed and replaced with a new implant. The top brands for dental implants are Astra, Straumman, Nobel Biocare and Biomet 3i. Our clinic uses Astra brand implants which are from Sweden and widely used all over the world.

Moreover, good oral hygiene practices ensure the longevity of implant-supported prosthetics, minimizing the risk of complications such as bone loss or gum tissue inflammation. From single dental implants to multiple implant treatments, implant dentistry offers diverse teeth replacement options, including implant-supported bridges and implant crowns, restoring smiles and confidence while promoting overall oral health.

 

Why do some tooth implants fall out very quickly, and some implants last a long time?

Dental implant surgery is a transformative dental procedure designed to restore missing teeth with natural-looking artificial teeth. Through meticulous implant placement into the jaw bone, dental surgeons ensure successful integration of the implant fixture, which serves as a stable foundation for the replacement tooth or teeth.

A dental implant is an artificial prosthesis to replace a missing part of your body, your tooth. Being in the mouth, it is put under a lot of chewing forces every day. Therefore, we want it to last you as long as possible. If the implant is placed in the wrong position, it may not be able to withstand the pressure long term and will fail.

At Dental Designs Clinic, we are able to provide dental implants that are fully computer-guided implants. Planning of the implant is done virtually, and the virtual placement is done on the 3D visualisation. The dentist plans this implant fully on the computer so that it is accurately placed and safely planned. The future implant is done in the implant placement in the software which gives dentists total control of the implant positioning which is so important for the long-term success.

During the initial dental implant consultation, treatment plans are made considering factors like jaw bone density and surrounding teeth. Unlike traditional dentures, dental implants permanently fill the gaps left by lost teeth, offering a permanent solution for tooth replacement. Although dental implant costs may vary, the long-term benefits outweigh the initial investment, providing patients with improved oral function and aesthetics.

The fully guided implant placement process begins with a digital scan of your jaw using the latest in digital dentistry. Using a state of the art 3D CEREC scanner and 3D CBCT X-rays, our experienced dental team takes a 3D impression of your jaw and designs the placement of surrounding teeth around the titanium implant. At our clinic, we use Astra implants which have decades of proven reliability, successful quality of life implants and longevity.

This follows with milling a 3D impression of your jaw and making a guide exactly according to where the dentist has designed your implant to be placed. The dental implants are placed after extraction of or at the site of the missing tooth. A bone graft may be done during this stage of oral surgery if bone material at the jaw is lacking to support the implant. After the surgery is done, a typical healing period of 3 to 6 months is allowed for the bone to heal and for the implant to stabilise. After this healing period, the crown is placed and the tooth will look similar to your original teeth.cerec-machine

Using our 3D CBCT X rays, we can determine that the exact placement has been implanted into your mouth. The actual result of the computer-guided attached to the implant is able to be reflected after the implant has been placed in the patient’s mouth. This provides you with much peace of mind that your implant has been accurately restored and put in place by our friendly dentists.

We also provide for same-day emergency procedures. If you had an accident resulting in a broken tooth, or if your tooth is fractured and needs to be extracted,  our same-day computer-guided implants can be done in one visit on the same day. 

 

References

  1. Brunski JB. Biomechanical factors affecting the bone-dental implant interface. Clin Mater. 1992;10(3):153-201. doi: 10.1016/0267-6605(92)90049-y. PMID: 10149982.
  2. Geng W, Liu C, Su Y, Li J, Zhou Y. Accuracy of different types of computer-aided design/computer-aided manufacturing surgical guides for dental implant placement. Int J Clin Exp Med. 2015 Jun 15;8(6):8442-9. PMID: 26309497; PMCID: PMC4538014.
  3. Oshida Y, Tuna EB, Aktören O, Gençay K. Dental implant systems. Int J Mol Sci. 2010 Apr 12;11(4):1580-678. doi: 10.3390/ijms11041580. PMID: 20480036; PMCID: PMC2871132.