Losing a tooth does not mean you should lose your smile too!
Today, there are many implant solutions available to suit every patient’s needs. It is important for a dental professional to assess your condition and advise you on the suitable implant treatments.
In this guide, we will introduce you to the few common types of dental implants available in Singapore. Firstly, let’s start with what dental implants are.
What are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are permanent replacement solutions for missing teeth. Shaped like a screw, they are surgically inserted into the jawbone beneath the gum line. The ‘screw-like’ metal frame will bond with the jawbone and act as a stable base to hold the artificial tooth on the top.
The artificial tooth, also known as the crown, is customized according to the patient’s mouth and teeth. It will look, feel, and function like a natural tooth.
Types of Dental Implants
Traditional vs Immediate Implant Placement
Delayed Implant Placement: Traditional Implant Procedure
Delayed implant placement is a traditional procedure that requires more than one surgery to complete the implant.
The implant surgery will include:
- the tooth extraction, and the placing of bone graft, if required
- a surgery to insert the metal implant
After a period of healing time, the artificial tooth will be installed.
Due to the number of distinct procedures involved and a healing period in between the surgeries, it will take an average of a few months before the implant treatment is fully complete.
For qualifying patients, the next type of implant solution provides a shorter treatment duration.
Immediate Implant Placement: Requires Only 1 Procedure
As the name indicates, immediate implant placement allows the dental implant to be inserted immediately after tooth extraction. Due to this advantage, patients can enjoy a shorter treatment duration as compared to those who undergo the traditional procedure.
While it is a more ideal solution, it is not for everyone. The dental professional will have to assess your suitability for the procedure.
Number of Missing Teeth: Single vs Multiple vs Full Jaw
The indication for each method depends largely on your specific need.
If you only need a replacement for one missing tooth, then a single tooth implant may be recommended. If there are multiple teeth involved, an implant-supported bridge or the Pro-Arch® treatment may be a more suitable solution.
It all depends on the existing condition of your teeth, oral health, comfort, budget, and lifestyle.
Single Tooth Dental Implant: To Replace One Tooth
Single tooth dental implant may be a suitable treatment for those with one damaged or missing tooth. It replaces the entire tooth from root to crown, using one implant ‘screw’ and crown. It will fill the gap seamlessly and function just like a natural tooth.
This implant treatment may also be recommended to patients who have multiple missing teeth that are not adjacent to each other. If the missing teeth are next to each other, then the following implant option may be a better solution in terms of cost.
Implant-Supported Bridge: To Replace Multiple Teeth Adjacent to Each Other
An implant-supported bridge may be a suitable treatment for those with more than one missing tooth in a row. Depending on the number of teeth involved, this treatment, if suitable, may be more cost-effective than undergoing multiple single tooth implants.
In this treatment, there will be one implant on each end of the missing teeth gap. The 2 implants will act as anchors of the bridge, and the row of teeth will be fixed on top of this. This way, the missing teeth in the middle of the gap will not require an actual dental implant.
Pro-Arch® Treatment: To Replace All Teeth
Pro-Arch® treatment, also known as teeth-in-a-day, may be a suitable treatment for those with multiple or a whole row of missing teeth.
This technique allows the restoration of a patient’s entire upper and/or lower jaw. As the name teeth-in-a-day indicates, the patient can also walk out on the treatment day with a new set of teeth.
With the Pro-Arch® treatment, all teeth in an arch can be replaced with just 4 to 6 implants. The 4 to 6 titanium screws are strategically implanted in strong bone areas to secure a denture prosthesis in place.
While the treatment sounds like the ideal solution for those with multiple missing teeth, it is not for everyone. To qualify for the procedure, the patient must have enough natural bone to support a full arch of teeth. It is best to consult a trusted dental professional to assess your suitability for the implant treatment.
Choosing the Right Type of Implant for Yourself
Choosing the right type of implant is not a straightforward procedure. There are many factors to consider. Thus, we strongly advise you to consult a dental professional.
During the consultation, a dental x-ray and cone beam CT scan will be conducted to properly assess your condition. Factors such as the number of missing teeth, the strength of your jawbone and your oral health will be taken into consideration before advising you on the suitable implant options.
Most importantly, you must choose an implant solution which is suitable for you, and comfortable for your wallet. Know your options, and do not be shy to ask questions to your dentist.
Consult a Professional on Your Implant Options
With a dedicated implant team and our own digital dental lab, our implant centre aims to provide you with the highest quality of care. Contact us for a consultation with our implant specialists today.
Reviewed by Dr. Valerie Tey