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What Are Dental Implants?

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To find out more about dental implants, we had a chat with Dr Kevin Co Hao Ming, dental surgeon and owner of TLC Dental Centre.

The Active Age (AA): What are dental implants?

Dr Kevin Co (KC): Simply put, dental implants are titanium posts positioned in the jaw bone to replace teeth that have been lost.

AA: How do dental implants work?

KC: Did you know that titanium has been medically used in human body for many years? This is especially so in Dentistry, with high success rates, as this metal provides a favorable biological response when in contact with live tissues as they will fuse with the jaw bone to provide stable support for artificial teeth.

AA: What are some benefits of implants over other types of tooth replacement?

KC: Unlike traditional dentures which can shift and slip in the mouth while eating. Implants are stable and closes to natural teeth. Dental bridges are another alternative but it has drawbacks as it involves shaving down neighbouring teeth for support which may cause damage. Implants can be placed as individual teeth thus making it much easier to clean versus bridges that joins a few teeth together.

AA: Who are eligible for such implants?

KC: Anyone who has adequate bone and healthy gums are suitable. Their suitability can be easily assessed via X-ray.

AA: Will this process hurt?

KC: With good anesthesia, this procedure is not painful.

AA: How long does the whole process take?

KC: The procedure is usually takes less than an hour. However, the implant will then take two to three months to fuse with the jaw bone before it can be used to support a crown (artificial teeth).



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