What do I need to know before getting a dental implant?Dental Dental Implants
As with any form of dental procedure or treatment, it is crucial that a clear diagnosis be obtained from a comprehensive examination (consultation) together with appropriate high-quality X-rays (imaging).
Thus, the first step is to seek a consultation with a dental surgeon experienced in the field of dental implantology.
After that, there are 4 phases in approaching any dental condition, detailed below:
Phase 1 - Emergency Phase
This phase involves acute infections, severe pain that requires urgent intervention. Dental implant treatment usually cannot be instituted in this phase.
Phase 2 - Disease Control Phase
This phase is an important one. After the crucial diagnostic data is collected, all the esthetic, mechanical and biological parameters are outlined. The various OPTIONS of teeth replacement would be discussed and the TYPE of teeth replacement could be finalised here.
For dental implant treatment to be successful and long lasting, the mouth should be in a healthy, stable state before dental implants are placed. This phase involves controlling all the disease that is present in the mouth, to prepare the patient to have a healthy foundation on which the dental implants can function well. This phase may take a extended period of time, depending on the severity of the problems initially presented.
Phase 3 - Reconstruction Phase
This phase is the stage where dental implants and replacement teeth are placed to restore function and esthetics. This phase may also be extended, depending on the type of replacement teeth chosen.
Phase 4 - Maintenance Phase
Like a car, there must be periodic maintenance implemented to ensure the smooth functioning of the car. Likewise, after dental implant treatment, there must be a maintenance protocol to ensure that the implant and replacement teeth will last as long as possible.
The above write-up gives an idea of how dental surgeons plan a complex procedure like dental implant treatment. Any one who is considering dental implant treatment has to understand and accept that there could be various factors that NEED TO BE ADDRESSED PRIOR to the actual dental implant treatment and a STRICT MAINTENANCE PROTOCOL must be followed after the implant treatment.
Dr Elvin Leong
#08 - 01 Singapore 228210
Thank you for your enquiry, dental implants are the gold standard for replacing missing teeth but they are certainly not for everybody.
There is a long list of indications and contra-indications for dental implants which is beyond the scope of this sessions, but I will try to mention some of the common ones here.
In a generally healthy person with no systemic medical problems or relevant medical history, here are some common issues that might prevent you from being suitable to get dental implants done immediately.
- Untreated tooth decay
- Untreated gum disease
- Severe bone and/or gum loss around the area planned for dental implants
- Severe tooth grinding/bruxism
- Severe wear of remaining teeth
- Having an imbalanced bite with teeth that are poorly aligned
- Dental Anxiety or fear
- Having a limited mouth opening
- Lacking awareness of the alternatives to dental implants
- Lacking research on the best dentist to go to for dental implants with the correct training and experience
- Having a limited dental budget
The short list above represents some of the factors, concerns and issues that you would have to consider before getting dental implants.
Dr Gerald Tan
BDS, FRACDS, MJDFRCS
1 Grange Road
#12-03 Singapore 239693
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