Dental Implants: Are They Safe?

What are dental implants?

In essence, a dental implant is used to support one (or more) false teeth. A dental implant is a titanium screw that is used to replace the root of the tooth. Just like the real root, it is also placed into the jawbone.


Are dental implants safe?

Dental implants are a secure, safe, and well-established treatment. Just like the natural teeth, dental implantscan last for a very long time given they are properly cared for. If anything, how the implant is looked after will have a huge impact on its longevity.


Will dental implants hurt?

Prior to placing an implant, a local anaesthetic is used so the patient will not feel any discomfort or pain. However, it is possible to experience minor discomfort and pain a few days following the procedure but the pain and discomfort will eventually go away.

If the pain is severe and persistent, getting in touch with the dentist the soonest possible  time is recommended.



Are dental implants used to replace missing teeth all the time?

To help gauge if dental implants are the right option for the patient, the condition of the bone in the jaw is assessed first. The dentist will most likely perform special tests to check the amount of bone still present.

If there is not much of the bone left or if the bone is not healthy enough, grafting bone into the area might be done first before the dental implants are placed.


What is the approximate timetable for the procedure?

In most cases, the dental team will provide a rough timetable of the procedure. Nowadays, some false teeth can already be fitted at the same time as the implants. These are called “immediate implants.”

In most cases however, the teeth are fitted 3 to 4 months after the implants are placed. Sometimes, treatment can last longer so it would be ideal to ask the dental team for the timeline for your particular case.

In addition, the dental team can also provide the patient with the instructions on how to look after the implants. Painkiller medications may also be prescribed after the surgery to ease any pain and discomforts.


What happens after the dental implants are placed?

After the dental implants are placed, the jaw bone has to grow onto them and fuse them. This process will often take a few months. In some cases, it won’t take long for the implants to be stable enough to support the false teeth. In similar scenarios, the false teeth might be fitted sooner.

Patients who have 2 or more teeth for replacement may be asked to wear a temporary denture for the time being. Patients with full dentures will have to keep wearing them until the implants have healed.


What’s the proper care for dental implants?

To ensure the dental implants will last for a very long time, proper aftercare needs to be observed at all times. The dental team will often provide detailed suggestions and recommendations on how to properly look after the implant. It is reassuring to know however that cleaning the teeth attached to the implants is no more difficult than cleaning the natural teeth.

Dr. Gerald Tan



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