28 Jul 8 Must-Know Insights About Dental Implants in Singapore
Missing a tooth, and landed here while googling for “dental implant Singapore?” This article is a follow up to the piece I wrote on dental implant costs in Singapore. In this article, you will learn:
- Who can perform dental implants in Singapore
- Whether mini dental implants are any good
- Which dental implant brands are known amongst dentists to be reliable
Most importantly, this article will also guide you through in your search for a reliable dentist to do your dental implant procedure.
- Are mini dental implants any good at all?
I decided to start off by addressing the elephant in the room, as many of my patients have asked whether a mini dental implant would be more suitable for them. It’s not hard to see why, as mini dental implants definitely seem “less scary.” They are often also cheaper.
However, mini dental implants should only be used in very specific situations as they are much weaker than the conventional dental implants. Hence, they cannot support bigger teeth like molars.
If anything, using mini dental implants in the wrong situations is a recipe for disaster Even though the FDA in the US has approved mini dental implants to replace lower front teeth, there’s still no sufficient data to support the long-term reliability of mini dental implants.
- Dental implant Singapore: will the brand of dental implant make any difference?
Yes, because some dental implant brands are known amongst dentists to break more easily. It would be wise then to ask your dentist which implant brand he will be using and how long it has been in use for.
Some brands have a much better track record than others. Non-exhaustive examples of reliable dental implant brands in Singapore include:
- Nobel implants from Switzerland
- Straumann implants from Switzerland
- Ankylos implants from Germany
- Astra implants from Sweden
- Dentium implants from the US
Dental implant cost can range from $1250 to a staggering $15,000 for a single tooth, while on average, mini dental implant surgery costs around $700 to 1,500.
An implant brand that’s cheaper doesn’t mean it’s inferior – there are situations which require the use of a specific implant over another. It will all boil down to the experience of your dentist to choose a dental implant that’s best suited for you.
- Is there a dental implant specialist in Singapore?
No. If truth be told, there’s no such thing as a dental implant specialist anywhere in the world. In addition, the Ministry of Health does not consider dental implant surgery as a dental specialty. Dentists with a special interest in dental implant surgery typically acquire their skills through postgraduate courses.
Choosing a dentist based on qualifications alone is not recommended, as the quality of these courses can vary. For instance, some courses organised by dental implant brands may take place over a few weekends only, without any actual patient cases.
On the other hand, NUS offers a part-time diploma which takes place over 2 years and includes actual dental implant surgery on patients.
There are even “dental implant marathon” courses in countries like Cambodia and Vietnam, where dentists can perform up to 50 dental implant cases over a short span of time.
- Which dental specialties in Singapore undergo formal dental implant training?
There are 3 dental specialties in Singapore that undergo structured training in dental implant surgery as part of their specialist programme.
These 3 specialists are:
- Periodontists (gum specialists)
- Prosthodontists (“missing teeth” specialist)
- Oral and maxillofacial surgeons
Dentists typically refer more complex dental implant cases to these specialists. For really complex cases, a team of specialists may be required to achieve the desired results.
- Can students perform dental implant for cheaper in Singapore?
Dental implantology is taught only briefly in the undergraduate NUS dentistry course, and students are NOT allowed to perform dental implant surgery. However, qualified dentists on dental implant training courses can sometimes perform dental implant surgery at costs savings of up to 50% or more.
The major drawbacks are the inconvenience and lack of privacy – as a “demo patient,” the procedure may take much longer and there may be other course participants observing you.
- Why do lab fees for dental implants in Singapore vary?
A dental lab manufactures and customises various products to assist with dental implant surgery. Lab fees can range from as low as $50 for a simple case to more than $5,000 for complicated cases.
Some examples of lab fee services include:
- 3D modelling of the dental implant procedure
- Crafting of the dental implant materials and crowns
Dentists choose a lab based on:
- Equipment, capabilities, and reputation
- Lab technician’s experience and training: the technician’s skills will determine how well the dental implant material fits, as well as how natural it looks
We can send our dental implant cases to any lab in the world. Naturally, the most sought-after dental technicians will be more expensive.
- Dental implant Singapore: how can you find a reliable dentist for your dental implant?
It would be helpful if your dentist has the relevant qualifications or specialty training, but this doesn’t paint the full picture. The best way to find a reliable dentist is:
- Word of mouth referrals from family/friends
- Personal recommendations from other doctors and dentists
Once you have shortlisted a few dentists, schedule a consultation visit. Dentists can show you before/after examples of their previous patients, which will give you some idea of his experience. Feel free to ask about the number of implant cases he’s performed too!
Ultimately, the dentist you should choose must be someone you’re completely comfortable with.
- Dental implant Singapore: How can you discuss dental implant costs with your dentist to suit your budget?
I always start by working out the most “ideal” treatment plan with my patient – one where money isn’t a factor.
From there, I discuss how we can tailor the approach to fit his budget and expectations. For instance, some patients might prefer specific alternatives which will not affect the overall success of the dental implant surgery.
This includes factors like:
- Faster turnaround time: Same day implant crowns can be manufactured using special software.
- Pain relief: General anaesthesia will cost more than IV sedation or local anaesthesia
- Natural-looking crowns: Some patients are prepared to splurge on high-end porcelain crowns
Based on these considerations, I’ll be able to remove certain procedures and costs involved with the surgery. You can also always seek out a free quote estimate from a few dentists to get an insight into the cost involved.