Dental Implants

What are dental implants?



Dental implant is a titanium implant that is placed into the jaw/gum to replace missing teeth. Why titanium? Titanium is the most inert (accepted by human body) and there is no known case of titanium allergy, and it doesn't corrode compared to metal such as iron etc.

Dental implant is one of the latest innovation in dentistry. Previously, any missing teeth can only be replaced with a denture, which is although removable is troublesome and not accepted by everyone. Although dentures are still available as an easier and cheaper option of treatment, dental implant has become more popular because it is the best replacement for natural teeth.Dental implant is placed to replace the root of the tooth. Once the healing process is completed (around 3 months) the preparation can be made for construction of tooth. The teeth are normally made of porcelain, the shape and colour is 'custom-made' to complement the rest of the teeth.

There are a few factors that you have to consider when thinking about dental implant treatment. They are:

1) Treatment preferably carried out by qualified specialists - implant surgery can be complicated by inadequate bone, or other important structure such as nerves. Specialists such as Oral and Maxillofacial surgeons are able to perform additional procedures such as bone grafting without having to refer to another specialists/clinics.

2) Implants used are from internationally recognised manufacturers. The products normally have gone through clinical trials and proven to be successful, hence the cost is a bit higher. They also offers lifetime warranty, should any failure occurs the implants will be replaced free of charge. This is very important especially for those seeking treatment overseas.

3) The implants used are normal implants and not mini implants. Mini implants has a fairly limited use. Although the cost is cheaper, they are not meant to replace normal implants in most cases.

4) Surgeries are carried out in a clean, dedicated surgery room , with adequate sterilised instruments. Instruments that are not properly prepared will increase the risk of implant failures.

CASE 1

This young lady was referred to us with a history of loss of 4 front teeth 15 years earlier due to motor vehicle accident. She has been wearing dentures ever since, and now looking for a more permanent replacement.

The problem faced was massive bone loss due to resorbtion. Decision was made to place 2 dental implants, with simultaneous bone grafting using a mixture of patient's own bone (taken from her chin) and synthetic bone graft.

After healing period of 6 months, a 4-unit bridge was constructed to replace her denture.


CASE 2

This gentleman was referred to us for permanent replacement of his denture with implant-retained bridges. The challenge was he had a chronic periodontal problem, and most of his teeth were mobile.

He was then referred to a periodontist, who had suggested multiple extractions of upper teeth due to the severity of his gum problems. However a few teeth has been retained, because they are still firm and the patient wish to keep them.

Multiple units of dental implants were placed and 3 separate screw-retained bridges were constructed.

CASE 3

Patient was presented with history of lost of upper central incisor (front tooth) at an earlier age due to trauma.The neighbouring tooth has discolored and fractured. Temporary composite bridge placed for aesthetic reason and space maintainer

Bridge and neighbouring tooth removed, 2 units of dental implants placed.


After 3 months implants were exposed, impression taken and crowns constructed. Pictured are the 2 abutments (the core) in position before crowns placed.

Crowns cemented and adjusted.

CASE 4

A gentleman with missing upper central incisor tooth. First picture shows second stage of gum shaping after implant placement 3 months before. The rest shows the result after crown fitted.